These Romanian Easter eggs are painted in the traditional colors of red, black, and yellow. Red represents the blood of Christ, black represents Christ’s suffering, and yellow represents light.
While it’s common to see Romanian eggs in the traditional colors of black, yellow, and red, Romanian Easter eggs can also be decorated with other color variations. In Romania the tradition of decorating eggs is ancestral.
In old times a painted eggs was believed to have magic powers and their preparation involved special rituals. Each color or pattern used to decorate the egg was meant to combat a different for of evil.
Even today Romanians believe that painted eggs bring luck and protect their homes against demons and unholy spirits. The shells of the Easter eggs are blessed, they should not be thrown away, but sprinkled over the soil in gardens to provide for fertility and richer crops.
It takes a long time, talent and patience to paint these eggs. First they are emptied of their contents and covered with a thin layer of bee wax. Then the meticulous work can begin. Using special tools like “chisita” women “write” the motifs in vegetal (natural) colors. Each element has a meaning and nothing is left to chance.
A Romanian painted egg tells you a story, if you know how to read it. Among the many stylized motifs you’ll often find the tree of life, the sun and the Star, the cross, the rooster, the snake and oak leaves, waves, spirals and much more. Each egg is unique. Each egg is special.
This art, although not kept a secret, is not taught in schools: it’s a folkloric legacy, carried from generation to generation, flourishing only in some parts of Romania.