When I was little, my sister and I dyed Easter eggs using a Paas egg coloring kit. I don’t think I knew there was any other way to color eggs. We mixed the cups of dye (I think we used teacups) and dipped our eggs in them. Sometimes we used the wax crayon to write on the eggs first, but the words or pictures made that way didn’t always come out well. Other than that, about the only fancy thing you could do was try to dip one half of an egg in one color, and the other half in another color.
The past few years we didn’t dye eggs (my sons are not into decorating the way my sister and I were). But this year I decided we would, if only to get back in the habit of cooking and eating hard-boiled eggs. (Both sons enjoy them and they’re a healthy snack.) I went to the store to get an egg coloring kit and was amazed at all the available options.
Besides the classic Paas kit and similar basic kits (one includes the colored cups), there are kits to make tie-dyed eggs, storts-themed eggs, camo-themed eggs, Easter (i.e. religious) stickers, 3D decorating kits using colored foam, glittery eggs, shiny eggs, and even a device that reminds me of spin-art for coloring the eggs as they go around. I kind of liked the spin-art idea (I always wanted one of those machines but it cost too much), but I decided I’d better let Al pick what he liked.
As you can see, he picked the shiny kit. (The bunny there is my Webkins, Hoppers, that I got at Christmas to play with Al’s Webkins, which is a frog named Jumpers.) Al had fun coloring the eggs, both using the cups of dye first and then applying the shiny metallic stuff after they had dried. It’s a bit messy – you spread some glue on the shell first, then press the colored sheet over it. Al did a couple eggs, then left me to have fun doing the rest.
My older son, Zach, had decorated an egg in German class, using a technique that his teacher (who is from Germany) taught them. They applied melted wax to the egg with a needle, then applied dye. I didn’t get to see the results, but I’m sure that skilled artists can create very beautiful eggs using that technique. I haven’t yet found examples to see on the internet, but it is apparently very similar to (if not the same as) pysanki.
I also learned, from other websites, some of the symbolism behind Easter eggs. Besides being a universal symbol of fertility and new life, the egg also became a special treat at Easter because it was among the foods forbidden during Lent. And egg-rolling events (which I have heard of but never seen) are “a symbolic re-enactment of the rolling away of the stone from Christ’s tomb.”
I know some Christians worry about the pagan origins of Easter eggs. But I figure God created eggs, He have us the creative ideas and abilities to decorate them, and they can certainly be used and enjoyed in Christ-honoring ways. I certainly enjoyed making this year’s batch. And the boys and I enjoyed eating a few today (I’ll warn you though – pretty as they look, the glue on the shell makes them a bit of a mess to peel).