Resurrection of the Artistic Spirit

Zofia Zwieglinska explains to us the traditions and crafts behind our beloved Easter eggs during this festive holiday...

7th March 2016

The tradition of giving (and getting) Easter eggs was originally not so commercially controlled. Eggs (in their unadulterated pure form) were given as a sing of new life, along with everything else that people used to give up for Lent, as sign that new life has come in the Christian faith. Many countries in Europe still practice the tradition of egg-giving and traditional egg decorating as a part of their religious duties during Easter. We have now, especially in this country, stepped away from the traditional values and now glorify in a ridiculous chocolate-fest that lasts all of Easter (and beyond!). As Easter falls on the 27th of March, a week earlier than last year, retailers are scrabbling to get everyone buying just as Mother’s day decorations fly out of their shops. The chocolate Easter egg craze started out in 1837, when JS Fry, of Bristol, made the first chocolate egg. Cadbury were quick to follow suit, and before the war rationed the supply of chocolate, Easter eggs became quite popular.

Many chocolate companies are taking full advantage of our wanton needs, and provide us with shelves upon shelves of gloriously gooey, chocolate-filled chocolate eggs. Some are even making Easter eggs upmarket, with fantastic designs and decadent fillings like salted caramel chocolates, or champagne truffles. While these may not be in the student price range, Easter eggs are considered a treat, and many will be trying to buy (or make) something better than Cadbury’s creme egg (sorry everyone).

However, Easter is not only about the chocolate after all. As people are generally excited for the proper start of spring, Easter seems like a good occasion to pull out the daffodils and the pastel-coloured rabbit and get into spring decorating. Recently the focus has shifted also on table decorations and finally, actual egg decorations too! While it may be too finicky for some, egg decorating could be used as a flatmate bonding exercise, if things are tense after assignment season. So bring together some paint and glitter and get at those eggs! Usually the egg yolk and white are removed through a small hole to make the egg decoration last longer, however it isn’t necessary. If you are planning to eat any actual eggs this Easter, or are simply a bit bored over the Easter break, why not give it a go? It is simple enough to decorate eggs at home, whether those are the chocolate kind or not.

Here are some simple ideas to get you started with decorating eggs for Easter:

1. This year you could go for normal eggs.  Using edible blue dye in a pan of water, submerge the eggs in the dye for around 1-3 hours, depending on what shade you like. Then just wait for them to dry and speckle them with a paintbrush and edible gold paint.

2. Buy a cheap chocolate egg and a 100g bar of white chocolate. Melt the white chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave, then drizzle the melted chocolate over your bought.

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