Easter is today, which means another year of celebrating traditions like egg decorating and Easter egg hunts. It’s incredible how diverse decorating customs are in each country, with each region using different techniques. But no matter which culture, or which colors are used, each results in some beautiful designs that are magnificent to behold. Perhaps you will see them for yourself on a Vantage journey—here’s what you can expect:
In Hungary, Easter egg decorating traditions include painting the eggs in traditional Hungary embroidery patterns. The designs are created using either molten wax or are painted on using dye from onion skin. Easter is called Húsvét in Hungary, which translates to the word “meatless,” paying homage to Lent.
Easter is Velikden in Bulgarian, meaning Great Day. The first egg dyed is always red and saved until the following Easter for good luck. Bulgarians practice a “good luck crack,” which means they crack eggs following the midnight Easter service. During Easter celebrations, they crack their eggs against each other’s and whoever is left with an unbroken egg is considered to have good luck throughout the next year.
Easter, or Pâques in French, is celebrated with flying Easter bells instead of the American tradition of Easter bunnies. The French paint their eggs in vibrant colors, but another tradition is finding chocolate eggs during an Easter egg hunt on Easter morning.
Easter eggs are referred to as kraslice and are traditionally decorated with wire in the Czech Republic. The wire is expertly weaved into knots and cradled around the Easter eggs to make a unique design that the Czechs adapted from Slovakia.
The Spanish word for Easter is Pascua. During Pascua, traditional foods like torrijas—the Iberian answer to French toast—and sweet pestiños fritters are served and Easter eggs are decorated in intricate designs with bright colors typically found in Latin countries.
In Japan, do as the Japanese do! Washi paper eggs are an Easter egg decorating tradition in Japan, which involves gluing washi paper (Japanese origami paper) to the egg in strips that overlap at the ends of the egg. The outcome is a beautiful handmade design, which is well worth the extra time spent decorating.
The Greek Orthodox tradition of decorating Easter eggs involves dyeing the eggs red to symbolize the blood of Jesus Christ, while the cracking of the egg represents his Resurrection. The red Easter eggs are baked inside of tsoureki, traditional Greek Easter bread.
The Polish are known for etching designs into their Easter eggs after dyeing them, which is called drapanki. Pisanki, which derives from the Polish word “pisac” (to write), is another form of Polish Easter eggs and are decorated with melted beeswax, then dyed. Polish call hand-painted Easter eggs malowanki.