Egg laying is an ancient custom in the Romanian tradition. Married eggs are a testimony of Easter customs, beliefs and customs, representing an element of Romanian specific spiritual culture.
Because the red egg is the carrier of profound meanings related to the resurrection of Christ and the renewal of nature, Christians have struggled to marry it, drawing with wax ancestral decorative motifs of rare beauty.
The egg, seen as a primordial symbol, the seed of life, according to tradition, is painted and set in the days of Thursday and Saturday of the Great Week, the redemption of the eggs being reserved almost exclusively for women.
egg painted it sends us joy, amazement, humility, reconciliation, because in its ornamentation, in fact, it is operated with symbols (sun, moon, cross, etc.), with models from nature (plants, animals, household objects) and with models of folk fabrics, with all their repertoire of sacred signs.
The folkloric motifs used are: spicule, sun, leaf and as a reconfirmation of the Romanian Christianity, the cross.
In Muntenia and Oltenia, the ornamental motifs are naturalistic, but with fewer colors.
In the Olt county the center of Obaga is noted where this popular idea was brought to the art level.
In Transylvania and Banat the wedding is distinguished by a great variety of designs and colors, and Tara Barsei is famous for drawing and ornamental and chromatic composition of great finesse.
People have felt the need to decorate, through different methods, the egg (with colored wax, with paints, with beads, etc.).
Decorating the eggs with paints is also done using the wax, using the "handkerchief" process. The white egg, drained of content, is decorated with wax on the spaces that are to remain white. Dip the egg in the yellow paint, remove, dry and apply the wax on the spaces that will eventually remain yellow.
Then the egg will sink in red paint. The process is repeated according to the number of colors, starting from the lightest colors to the most intense ones. Finally, the egg is covered with a layer of nitrolac, which will shine the egg and protect the decorations.
The ornamentation of decorative eggs is extremely varied, it includes geometric, vegetable, animal, anthropomorphic and religious symbols.
Symbols and meanings of laid eggs
Some symbols and meanings used are:
- vertical straight line = life;
- horizontal straight line = death;
- double straight line = eternity;
- the line with rectangles = thinking and knowing;
- slightly corrugated line = water, purification;
- spiral = time, eternity;
- double spiral = the connection between life and death.
Of the most used reasons we mention:
- The cross - the sign of Christianity - in Muscel county, a small cross appears at the crossroads of two sticks and in the four compartments each one figure, which on other eggs, is called "argeseanca" or "goanga";
- Easter Cross - the cross with which Christians adorn the Passover that Christians bring to the church, on the night of the Resurrection, called in some areas and "Easter Day";
- Romanian cross and Russian cross or Moldovan cross - is represented by a cross with other crosses at the ends;
- Cross of the Nazareth - the cross embedded in the bread from which the Nazareth is divided in the church service;
- Steaua - is a widespread motif, found especially in Bucovina and throughout the old Kingdom. In Valcea and Rm. Sarat, this motif is also known as the "flower of the sheep" or "the star of the shepherd";
- The monastery - also a symbol of Christianity;
- Animal kingdom: bee, frog, snake, lamb;
- Vegetable reasons: fir leaf, carnation, wheat spike;
- Domestic and field tools: rake, shovel, plow iron;
- Industrial ornaments, motifs taken from the domestic industry: the clink that is formed when designing shirts and sleeves;
- Various: stubble and stern, stray path, cross of pastes.
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