Over the years, our family has incorporated lots of different traditions into our Easter from other cultures. Here are a few fun ideas to add a little multicultural flair to your Easter eggs whether it's decorating them, playing with them, baking them or even breaking them.
Photo Credit: Luz (CC)
Japanese Washi Eggs
|Japanese Washi paper egg|
Photo Credit: Carol Browne (CC)
Washi eggs are blown out eggs decorated with decoupaged Japanese washi paper. Washi paper often has flowery, spring motifs and lots of bright colors, making for beautiful Easter eggs.
Eastern European Pysanka eggs
|Pysanka, Ukrainian Easter Eggs, painted by 14yr old & 8yr old girls|
Photo Credit: Pavlo Boyko (CC)
Pysanky are Ukrainian Easter eggs decorated with traditional folk designs using wax resist with beeswax and egg dye. Lots of Eastern Europeans decorate eggs using wax resist, such as Bulgarians, Croats, Czechs, Russians, Poles to name but a few. To make traditional pysanky eggs, special tools are needed to write on the eggs with the melted beeswax. Not so traditionally, some people use wax crayons, which would be easier with younger kids.
German Easter Egg Tree
|German Easter Egg Tree|
Photo Credit: Andrew Poison (CC)
The Osterbaum, or Easter tree, is an Easter tradition in Germany that goes back centuries. Brightly colored eggs, whether blown out real eggs or plastic eggs, are hung on tree branches with ribbons. These are either outside on living trees or indoors in cut b branches from pussy willows or other flowering bushes. We have a vase filled with branches every year indoors to display our decorated Easter eggs - the ones we just did and the ones we've saved from previous years.
Egg Cracking Game
Egg cracking games using hard boiled eggs can be found in many countries, especially Eastern Europe and Western Asia. We were introduced to it a few years ago while exploring Greece, and it's become an Easter tradition ever since. It turns out, its a tradition everyone looks forward to in Lebanon as well! Here's how you play:
First, choose a good solid hard boiled egg. One person takes his/her egg in hand, exposing just an end. The other person takes his/her egg and hits that exposed egg. The one whose egg cracked - in case above, the "cracker" not the "crackee" :) - either loses that egg, or turns it over and takes a turn being the one to hold the egg in hand, exposing the uncracked end. Once an egg is cracked on both ends, that person is out of the game. Play continues until one egg and its owner wins.
|Italian Easter Bread from The Italian Dish|
Various cultures bake sweet Easter breads with eggs baked on them for Easter. These are rich with Christian symbolism, and are also really tasty. Again, while exploring Greece, we made Tsoureki, traditional Greek Easter bread braided with red dyed eggs (the red eggs represent the blood of Christ). In Italy, Easter bread is baked in the shape of a wreath, symbolizing the crown of thorns worn by Jesus Christ at the crucifixion. The bread is baked with colored eggs in the dough and topped with glaze and sprinkles.
|Tsoureki, Greek Easter bread we made a few years ago|
What are your Easter traditions?
If you're curious about Easter traditions and cultures, here are some other posts you might like:
Easter season and celebrations in Lebanon
Easter in France
Easter in West Africa (with a recipe for a traditional Nigerian Good Friday dish)
A Greek Easter Dinner Menu
Multicultural Kid Blogs collection of posts about Easter Around the World