The Little Things: making traditional Orthodox easter eggs

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids
Last year, we were kindly invited to celebrate Orthodox Easter with our friends Vicky and Jeremy here in Amsterdam. Vicky and Jeremy are from Australia and are spending a few years in the Netherlands, but Vicky is originally from Macedonia. She grew up celebrating the traditional Orthodox Easter with her Macedonian family — the most significant celebration of the year (more important than Christmas or New Year even)!

Vicky and Jeremy were so sweet to invite us over to celebrate this most special day with them, and we had such a wonderful time, sharing the most delicious food: lamb, salads, sides, breads and sweets. And part of the tradition is also eating the most beautiful Easter eggs I had ever seen! Gorgeous, shiny eggs in a deep shade of auburn, with delicate leaf prints on them.

Vicky told me that the eggs are traditionally dyed red to represent Christ’s blood, and that eggs are often exchanged with friends at the midnight Easter mass at church, or left at church as well.

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- dying traditional Orthodox Easter eggs
With Easter coming up again (time flies!), we asked Vicky to show us how to make these beautiful eggs for this The Little Things post. It was surprisingly easy, and so much fun for all ages!

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids, making orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- making orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- making orthodox easter eggs
First, we made the egg dye. For this, Vicky used her mum’s recipe — producing enough dye for about two dozen eggs:

12 med-large brown onions. Skins only.
1.5 L cold water
3 TB vinegar (balsamic)

We asked Ava and Kalina (Vicky’s little girl) to peel the onions — a job they handled really well!

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- making traditional orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- making traditional orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- making traditional orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- making traditional orthodox easter eggsAfter adding the water and the vinegar to the onion skins, the brew needed to gently simmer for about half an hour. In the meantime, we went outside in the garden to look for some little leafs.

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- making traditional orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- making traditional orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- making traditional orthodox easter eggs
It’s fun to experiment with all sorts of little leafs. You can use blossom too, we discovered!

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- dying traditional Orthodox Easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- dying traditional Orthodox Easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- making traditional orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- making traditional orthodox easter eggsNow we started preparing the eggs — first, Vicky rinsed, brushed and dried a few dozen eggs (we used a mix of white and brown eggs) so they were completely clean.

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- making traditional orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- making traditional orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- making traditional orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- making traditional orthodox easter eggsNext, using a dish towel to keep the egg steady, she showed us how to position a leaf on the egg, stretch a thin pantyhose over the egg, and twist it around a few times. Then, she used thread to secure the pantyhose around the egg, and cut of the rest off the pantyhose.

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- making traditional orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- making traditional orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- making traditional orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- dying traditional Orthodox Easter eggs
When you try this at home, make sure the kids are a little careful as the eggs are raw! (We did have a few eggs break…)


The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- dying traditional Orthodox Easter eggs Babyccino Kids The Little Things, orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids, making orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids -- dying traditional Orthodox Easter eggs
The littler children needed some help with wrapping the pantyhose around the egg, but the big ones could do it all alone. We enjoyed this activity so much!

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids , making orthodox easter eggs
When all the eggs were prepared, Vicky strained the onion brew and boiled the eggs in batches in the dye for 15 minutes.

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids , making orthodox easter eggs
Then, careful take the eggs out of the dye. (I thought it was so clever of Vicky to use the egg carton to hold the hot eggs!)

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids , making orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids , making orthodox easter eggs
Now, we carefully unwrapped the eggs, revealing the beautiful colour and the leaf print. It’s a bit like unwrapping presents, and revealing the surprise inside!

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids , making orthodox easter eggs
The blossom also turned out really lovely.

Babyccino Kids The Little Things orthodox easter eggs fre-7316-colour-klein-41
As a last step, we polished the eggs with a little olive oil, making them shine beautifully.

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids , making orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids , making orthodox easter eggs
Before the eggs are eaten and following Macedonian tradition, a very important competition has to take place! Everyone must select an egg and then crack each side (pointed or rounded) against one another until one person who has the strongest (uncracked) egg remains. The winner gets the luck for the year (and the glory of winning!).

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids , making orthodox easter eggs The Little Things by Babyccino Kids , making orthodox easter eggs

What a fun morning, and what a beautiful Easter activity this was! I will definitely adopt this wonderful tradition from the Macedonian culture. Thanks so much for sharing, Vicky!

xxx Esther

PS — This is the newest post in a series which is called ‘The Little Things’. Thank you Maud Fontein for taking these beautiful photos and thank you again Vicky for sharing this beautiful tradition with us! The beautiful Paris tea towel featured is by my friend Erika from MikoDesign. Sara, Ava and Casper are wearing clothes from Mabo.


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Comments (11)

Manca
March 18, 2016

I am from slovenia and we make that kind of easter eggs also! my mother is making them every year. we are using red onion insted brown it makes srtonger color.


Sofia
March 18, 2016

What a beautiful tradition! And this activity! I love it and feel inspired, thank you! Well done!


Aga
March 19, 2016

We have the same tradition in Poland.


March 21, 2016

[…] Babyccino’s Orthodox Easter Eggs… superb!!! […]


Eva
March 21, 2016

Same in Bulgaria 🙂 Have many happy memories of dyeing eggs the same way with my grandma.


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Leah Prins
March 23, 2016

I remember seeing these beautiful eggs last year; thank you so much for sharing this technique! I had a go this morning & they’re stunning & a lovely addition to our Easter table X


Esther in Amsterdam
March 23, 2016

How wonderful Leah!! 🙂 Thanks for letting me know! xxx


March 28, 2016

[…] stunning do these eggs look? I may have to have a go at them next year. I think they are so […]


March 28, 2016

[…] eggs, of course! We made the beautiful Macedonian Orthodox Easter eggs a few weeks ago, so this weekend we experimented with natural egg dies (using brown onion skins, […]


April 13, 2017

[…] Pour Pâques, je voulais vous proposer un DIY d’oeufs de tradition orthodoxe comme ceux-ci. […]


Blair K
April 15, 2017

This is probably the clearest and most charming presentations of this style of egg coloring I have seen. Well done! Slovenians do it this way as well. Happy Easter!


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