(today’s bonus post… read about how we celebrate Easter in Portugal here!)
Many countries celebrate Easter in different ways and even on different dates. In Romania, as well as other eastern European countries Easter (known as Orthodox Easter) comes after the western Easter we’re celebrating at the moment here in Portugal and many other Western countries. At the end of that, both Easters celebrate pretty much the same things – the resurrection of Christ.
To me personally, Easter was just a nice break I would use to travel before the pandemic. Unfortunately, this is the second year in a row where I can’t really go anywhere… so I’m here remembering Romania.
I visited Romania on the Halloween of 2019 (I don’t think I need to explain why. deep down, I believe in vampires, what can I say…). Almost by accident, in my visit to Bucharest, I was told so many tales and traditions that did not relate to horror stories at all, and I clearly remembered their beautiful eggs and being told about their real meaning. But, I mean… just look at these beauties. I regret not buying one for myself… but if I keep buying so much during my trips, where would I have room for everything?
Okay honestly. I do regret it 😳 but they seemed so fragile.. and I thought I would break them very easily in my tiny backpack.
Egg painting is one of the most important Romania Easter traditions. And, as you can see, this isn’t any kind of egg painting… not the kind we would do in school when kids. These are intricate traditional motifs that vary from region to region. Any Romanian Easter table would be decorated with these eggs and, instead of Egg Hunting, children is Egg Tapping Competition. I wanted to get the facts straight of how it actually works, so here’s an explanation from Rolandia.eu website:
The traditions say that people who knock painted eggs on the first day of Easter will see each other after death. The first person who taps the egg has to say “Christ has resurrected” (in Romanian, ‘Cristos a înviat’), while the second one goes “Indeed, he has resurrected” (in Romanian, ‘Adevarat a înviat’). The belief is that the person whose eggs are unbroken will enjoy the longest life. Usually, the Easter eggs are painted red and represent the blood shed by Jesus Christ at his crucifixion, but they can also be blue, yellow, or green.
And what I find even more interesting (I do love symbology and hidden meanings to things) is that the motifs also carry meanings. From the same source:
- the vertical line means life
- the horizontal line means death
- the double line means eternity
- the line with rectangular symbols means knowledge
- the curved line means water
- the spiral means time, eternity
- the double spiral means the bond between life and death.
You can find these eggs in the town markets to be sold to tourists. As you can see, in this picture, these eggs in a market in Bucharest were actually from the region of Bucovina, which unfortunately I was not able to visit. I do love them, it’s stunning handcraft. I do intent to go to Romania again the future (as I did fell unexpectedly in love with the country) and I swear I will bring one of these eggs (or two) with me. If I break it… well, I guess I will die young!
Hope you enjoyed this post to kickstart my Bucharest series this week!
Have a lovely weekend,