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Painting Pisanica or Easter Egg in Croatia 2024

Don't miss a beautiful tradition of colouring eggs before Easter

Best time: March 25–31, 2024

Painting Pisanica or Easter Egg
Painting Pisanica or Easter Egg

If you happen to be in Croatia during Easter, you'll definitely see Pisanica or a decorated egg. That tradition dates back to the pre-Christian pagan times. Eggs are usually painted in bright colours and could be given as gifts. Before paint became common, people used natural ingredients extracted from vegetables. The most common colour for eggs was red, due to the abundance of red beets. The most common phrase put on the Pisanicas is Happy Easter, or "Sretan Uskrs." Other common decorations are doves, crosses, flowers, and wishes of health and happiness.

Practical info

What is the name of the traditional decorated egg in Croatia?

The tradition of decorating eggs in Croatia dates back to pagan times, and the decorated eggs are known as Pisanicas. The name Pisanica comes from the Croatian word 'written' and signifies the ornate decorations and motifs that adorn the eggs. The Pisanicas are a symbol of new life and the arrival of spring, and they form an essential part of Easter celebrations in Croatia, enjoyed by people of all ages. Show more

When did the tradition of decorating eggs in Croatia merge with the celebration of Easter?

The practice of decorating eggs in Croatia dates back to ancient times, where it was associated with fertility and new life. With the arrival of Christianity in Croatia, the custom fused with the celebration of Easter, which marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Pisanicas, as the decorated eggs are known in Croatia, continue to be a crucial aspect of the Easter celebrations in the country. Show more

Where can you typically find Pisanicas during Easter in Croatia?

The Pisanicas, or decorated eggs, are ubiquitous in Croatia during the Easter season. You can find them in various places, including markets, churches, and shops throughout the country. If you visit major tourist destinations like Zagreb, you might also come across exhibitions and workshops that showcase the techniques and designs of the traditional Croation decorative egg-making craft. Show more

What are some common natural ingredients used to add color to Pisanicas?

The Croation tradition of coloring Pisanicas or decorating eggs often involves using natural ingredients. Popular ingredients include onion skins, red beets, and spinach to create natural dyes. Obtaining the red hue is commonly done by boiling eggs with red onion skins while flowers and leaves are used to create personalized patterns on the eggs. The use of natural ingredients for coloring eggs is a tradition that predates artificial paint. Show more

What are some typical decorations found on Pisanicas in Croatia?

Pisanicas, the decorated eggs of the Croatian tradition, offer an array of creative ornamentations. Decorations could include crosses, flowers, doves, and well-wishes messages such as 'Sretan Uskrs' meaning Happy Easter and the name of the recipient. The ornaments on the eggs often differ across regions, and some eggs feature popular culture references or traditional Croation motifs, emphasizing the country's rich history and customs. Show more

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Authors: Olena Basarab