Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Egg Crafts and Traditions For Easter

Because new life emerges from an egg when a chick hatches, eggs  have long been associated with Easter and are a symbol of the Resurrection. As an egg lays dormant, it contains a new life sealed within it, just as Christ's body was resurrected to new life from the sealed tomb.

To go along with some beautiful Easter picture books about eggs, I found several fun egg crafts to share with you - these are perfect to try with your children over spring break, when they are home and have time to be creative with you.

This folktale describes the origin of pysanky, the process of decorating Easter eggs with intricate, colorful patterns. Katrusya and her grandfather are walking in freshly fallen snow when they discover a flock of tiny golden birds that has been overcome by the sudden cold. They rescue as many as possible from the drifts and stuff them inside their coats, then hurry back to the village for assistance. Soon everyone rushes out to help, and the priest opens the church to shelter the animals and preaches to his congregation that with every chirp the birds worship God with perfect faith. Shortly before spring arrives, the feathered creatures clamor to be released, saddening the villagers, who have grown to love them. Easter comes, and Katrusya and the other children find gorgeous, brilliantly colored eggs in the grass. When the people wonder at their source, the priest points to the golden birds, now perched above, and explains that these eggs are their Easter gifts. As each one is different and precious, he says, so is every living creature in God's eyes.

"Pysanky" is an Easter folk art craft that I have attempted over the years during Lent (post and book recommendations here). There are lots of books available about this ancient Ukrainian folk art, and you can search the Internet to find how-to videos and classes in your area.

Sound too ambitious? You can make an easier version with your kids at home - wax resits on paper.  You just need food coloring, paper, crayons, and an iron!

Here's another version - a pastel resist paper egg (you need paper, pencil, oil pastels, and tempera paints).

Take a look at these gorgeous (and easy, mess free) silk dyed Easter Eggs? My daughter and I can't wait to make these!

How about baking Italian Easter Egg Bread?

You could try the Greek Easter Bread Version:

source and recipe (Food Network)

In Orthodox Churches, Easter (May 5, because our calendar is different), or "Pascha" eggs will be red, symbolic of the blood of Christ ...
 ©iStockphoto.com/ vaskoni
Tradition relates that in Italy Mary Magdalene visited Emperor Tiberius and proclaimed to him Christ’s Resurrection. She gave him a red egg as a symbol of the Resurrection, a symbol of new life with the words: “Christ is Risen!”  Thanks to Mary Magdalene the custom to give each other paschal eggs on the day of the Radiant Resurrection of Christ spread among Christians over all the world. [source]

For all my readers who follow the Western calendar, have a blessed Holy Week and Easter. 

1 comment:

  1. Love this post and the story about the red Easter (Pascha) eggs! I love all the breads too....they're so beautiful and good!