Easter in Russia  is the principal holiday. Having been introduced in the late 10th century, it was accompanied by ceremonies that came from pagan times but now consecrated by the Light of Christ. There were the consecration of Easter cakes, the preparation of cheese mass, the painting of eggs, etc.
On the morning of Easter Sunday people are not supposed to eat. First they have to go to church and bring their Easter cakes and coloured eggs. These will be consecrated during mass and after church family and friends get together, exchange eggs and pieces of cake and then eat.

Easter eggs are well-known Russian memorabilia, whose fame outside of Russia is probably second only to the matryoshka dolls. Lately, however, the interest toward the Easter egg has been of a special nature. It is explained by its somewhat illegal status during 70 years. Antique Easter eggs were stored away in different museums, almost inaccessible to the public. It goes without saying that in Soviet times the good tradition of giving and receiving artistically painted Easter eggs on the bright holiday of Christís Resurrection almost disappeared.

Fortunately, thanks to the Perestroyka, in the late 1980ís forgotton customs and rituals returned, e.g. the old Russian tradition of a triple kiss and the giving of an Easter egg.

Nowadays Easter eggs are no longer given only at the occasion of Easter but also on e.g. New Year or on birthdays. You can find Easter eggs in many different styles (flowers, icons, girlsí faces), materials (wood, stone, glass, porcelain, glass) and colours.

I cannot speak for other countries, but in Holland the most popular colours at Easter are yellow, white, pale green, pale blue and pale pink. In Russia, however, the traditional colour for Easter is red. The red colour of the egg symbolizes the blood of Christ and at the same time was the symbol of the Resurrection.
**According to an old legend, Mary Magdalene came to Rome to preach the gospel. In those days people who wanted to see the emperor, should bring him a present. Jewelry was often given by rich people, whilst the poor gave whatever they could afford. Mary Magdalene, who once was very rich, had lost everything but her faith in Jesus Christ and therefore had nothing to offer but a chicken egg. As she handed this egg over to Tiberius, she said "Christ has risen!" He did not believe her and said "Yeah, sure, and white eggs will turn red". And the moment he said that, the egg in his hand turned scarlet.**
Hence, red/coloured eggs have always been the symbol of Jesus's Resurrection and the Russians still give eachother eggs/food or little presents at Easter.
** And when they hand them over, they say "Christos Waskries" (Christ has risen), which is what the Cyrillic letters "XB" -that you will find on a lot of full scale eggs- stand for.

Another symbol that the egg represents if that of a transition from nonexistence to existence. It was seen as the spring sun, bringing life, joy, warmth, light, rebirth of nature and liberation from the grip of frost, ice and snow.  

Modern Easter eggs by individual authors are an original phenomenon in the Russian artistic culture of the late 20th century. They are fruits of living, free artistic creative work. The art of Easter eggs is a whole new world, a feature in the living image of Russia.

I have been very fortunate to find artists who make 1/12 scale eggs for me, in different styles, for every miniaturist to enjoy and combine Russian art and the Easter holiday feeling. 

From underneath photo's you will get an idea of the eggs that will be on sale at a later stage.

   revised October 22, 2006         Hit Counter        HOME          Copyright © 1999 De MiniLaars.  All rights reserved.