11 April 2011

Easter Eggs

We do the usual pastel Easter egg hunt at our house.  When I married a half-Greek, however, I learned about another Easter egg custom: dyeing them red and bashing them together after Easter dinner.   These eggs are called κόκκινα αυγά, or KOH-kee-nah ahv-GAH.

The bright red dye represents Christ's blood, and the eggs are traditionally prepared on Thursday.  Here is a recipe for the dye; perhaps beets might work, too.  Some people "polish" dyed eggs with a drop of olive oil.

My mother-in-law uses a bowl of them as her center piece on Sunday.  After the Easter feast, everyone grabs an egg and, round to pointed-side, bangs their egg against their neighbor's egg.  Whoever's egg cracks first loses and is out of the game.  The winners go against each other until all are eliminated but one.  This game is called τσούγκρισμα, pronounced TSOO-grees-mah, "clinking together."

Do you have any unusual or ethnic Easter egg traditions?


  1. We are in no way Greek, but we always follow Easter dinner with that game, too. Never used red dye on the eggs, though. Like the idea ...

  2. Cool...my husband's family says something Greek when we crack them, but I forget what. Maybe other cultures do it, too. I read today about taking leaves (ivy, rose, whatever) and pressing them on an un-dyed egg. Then place the cut-foot end of panty hose over the egg to keep the leaves in place. Then dye the eggs. When they are dry, and you remove the panty hose and leaves, an imprint of the leaf remains.