Easter – eggs – spring – fertility – rebirth. All part of a modern-day Easter celebration with ancient roots in pagan beliefs. Every spring people celebrated the end of winter and the coming of spring, the rebirth of nature, and made wishes for fertility and happiness for the new year.
Christianity has intertwined the ancient celebrations with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, whose rebirth – sacred in the Christian faith – symbolizes renewal, hope and joy.
Romanian traditions have kept the use of painted hard-boiled Easter eggs which dates pre-christian customs. In cultures across the world – the egg is the symbol of new life, fertility and rebirth. In Romanian tradition, egg tapping is done in order to show who will have good luck for the year. In Orthodox Christian custom, the egg tapping is accompanied by the saying “Christ has risen”.
While most Romanian households have eggs painted in simple colors, the traditional Romanian eggs used a diverse array of patterns borrowed from the traditional Romanian dress. Romanian clothing uses motifs borrowed from nature and surroundings to denote people’s regional and cultural background. The Romanian dress also uses common pre-christian universal symbolism, like the tree of life or the infinity motif.
The Resurrection of Christ is a reminder of how life triumphs over death. In ancient pagan customs, the Sun returns by defeating the dark cold winter and bringing fertility, through which nature comes back to life. The Sun is reflected today in the light carried during the Easter vigil at midnight.