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Essay

Easter eggs

By Deborah Davidson

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Of all the festivals and holidays in the world, my favorite is Easter. Some Easter customs are shared with other spring festivals of different cultures and eras. One of these traditions is egg decorating. Eggs make us think of birth and new life. This makes them perfect for celebrating the birth and rebirth of living things after the dark, withered season of winter.

Maybe you have heard of the Easter tradition of dyeing the shells of boiled eggs in pretty colors. In Western countries, these dyed eggs are often placed in handbaskets lined with shredded paper to make them look like bird nests. Egg-shaped chocolates, jelly beans and brightly colored marshmallows shaped like baby chicks and rabbits are often added to the baskets.

Easter egg hunts are popular activities on Easter mornings. Adults hide the colored eggs and candy in the garden or inside the house. Children search for these treats as if they were hidden treasure and collect them in their baskets.

In my family, we often empty the raw insides of the eggs before we decorate the shells. We make a small hole at the pointy end and a larger hole at the round end of each egg. Then we blow through the small hole to push out the raw egg through the larger hole. The whites and yolks can be used later in cooking. After rinsing and drying the eggshells, we decorate them with colorful images and words.

Easter does not fall on the same day or the same month each year. Sometimes it comes in March and sometimes it comes in April. But it is always on a Sunday. This year Easter falls on April 1.

The Friday before Easter is the day when Christians remember the arrest and execution of Jesus Christ. Easter Sunday is the day that we celebrate his coming back to life. So, for many Christians, eggs are also a symbol of Christ's empty tomb.

I stopped making Easter eggs when my children grew up. But then I learned that my Sorbian ancestors were known for creating marvelously detailed patterns on Easter eggs. They did it in a similar way as in Japanese roketsuzome, by using wax to draw patterns on the egg. A friend lent me the special tools that I needed, and I tried to learn the techniques for making the traditional patterns.

I don't think I will ever be able to imitate my ancestors' skills. But I am having a lot of fun exploring the world of Easter egg art.

Check out my Instagram (dosankodebbie) around Easter to see some of my decorated eggs. You might decide Easter egg decorating is something you want to try for yourself.

イースターエッグ

イースターにはかわいらしく色付けしたイースターエッグを作るのが定番だが、子どもたちが大人になった今、筆者は自身のルーツであるソルビア人伝統の繊細な模様のエッグアートに挑戦している。

The Japan Times ST: March 23, 2018

The Japan Times ST 読者アンケート

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2018年4月27日号    試読・購読   デジタル版
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