Podcast in English
Text size
Bulgarian National Radio © 2024 All Rights Reserved

The egg - a symbol of fertility and new life in Bulgarian folklore

Photo: BGNES

Holy Thursday is one of the two days in the Holy Week when we dye eggs for Easter. Tradition dictates that the oldest woman in the family takes on this important task, and the first egg is always dyed red. 
According to the Orthodox Church, the red colour is a symbol of Christ's blood and the torment He experienced on the Holy Cross. From a folklore point of view, the egg is chosen as the main character around which the celebration is formed, as it is associated with the sun, life and fertility. The breaking of its shell is seen as a release from the shackles of mortality. 

There is also a curious tradition involving children and young people in the home. To protect them from evil eyes and misfortunes, their cheeks are rubbed with the still warm first red egg. It is then kept in front of the house icon until it is replaced with a new one the following year. 

The Bulgarian woman puts all her skill, aesthetic sense and tradition into decorating the Easter eggs. The largest collection of decorated eggs is kept in the Historical Museum of Velingrad. Local artist Maria Malcheva has tracked down and rescued from oblivion models from more than seven decades ago.

With each passing year, new techniques for decorating Easter eggs are invented. Thus, to the traditional methods of dyeing them with natural or chemical-based dyes, decorating them with a wax pen, etc.  some unconventional techniques are added, which we tell about in the next publication from Radio Bulgaria's Best Collection:

We hope we have inspired you to create beautiful painted eggs to fill your holiday with faith, joy and beauty!

Photos: BGNES, Velingrad History Museum 

Последвайте ни и в Google News Showcase, за да научите най-важното от деня!
Listen to the daily news from Bulgaria presented in "Bulgaria Today" podcast, available in Spotify.

More from category

The tradition of sending Easter cards in Bulgaria dates back to the Liberation

When we have a special occasion where we meet relatives or friends, as a sign of respect and as a memory, we usually present them with a gift, complete with a beautiful card. In the past, the card received was kept as a cherished memory and even passed..

published on 5/4/24 4:35 AM
The Radio Sofia building

When the BNR “spoke” Polish

Today, the Bulgarian National Radio’s foreign language service Radio Bulgaria “speaks” 11 languages. Through the years, languages have been added, others have been dropped – something that happened to the Polish-language programmes. They were aired by..

published on 2/16/24 7:10 AM

105th anniversary of the birth of legendary piper Dafo Trendafilov

On this day - 17 January - we celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of the legendary piper Dafo Trendafilov . He was born in 1919 in the village of Gela in the Rhodope Mountains and his whole life remains forever linked to this mystical land. He began..

published on 1/17/24 7:40 AM