We all love painting eggs for Easter. We may buy synthetic colourants in the shops but there are lots more ways to colour our Easter eggs.
But, what do eggs have to do with Easter? The egg is a symbol of fertility and the start of a new life, and as such, it is closely related to spring and the idea of renewal and resurrection. Some say the painted egg’s red colour symbolizes Christ’s martyrdom, however, the tradition of egg-painting goes back to pre-Christian times.
Traditionally godparents gave painted eggs to their godchildren at Easter and girls would give eggs to the boys who sprinkled them with water on Easter Monday. Eggs were coloured with natural paints. Redwood, saw-wort was used to attain different shades of red and safflower and crabapple tree bark was used for yellow colouring. Onion, however, was the most widely used colourant everywhere. The outer protective layers of the onion produces dark red-brown colour on the egg’s surface.
Why not try red paprika powder this Easter to colour your eggs? Add 4 to 6 teaspoon full of red paprika powder to a smaller pot of water, boil it for 20 to 25 minutes and you get a nice colouring liquid. The colours will go from orange to light red. This same liquid may be used with the overlay technique: press decorative plant leaves onto the eggs (use a stocking for this purpose for example) and let the eggs sit in the colouring liquid for some time to produce a nice result.
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