A Good Egg: A Bulgarian Easter Tradition
Whether you’re religious or not, Bulgaria’s Easter tradition of dying eggs in different colours is great fun to do – with or without the kids! Our local neighbours in the village generously give us a huge bag of eggs every year and you can now buy various dye packages to to colour the eggs with rather than using the older methods of boiling plants for colours.
As an Orthodox Christian country, Bulgaria has many customs for the Easter period: from serving up Kozunak, a traditional Easter bread, eating fish on Palm Sunday or lamb on Easter Sunday, and preparing their eggs ready for the Easter weekend.
Usually, the first egg to be dyed is red and represents femininity, love and protection, akin to the symbolism connected to Baba Marta. Nowadays, although not every Bulgarian will strictly adhere to generation-old traditions, some will still bury it in the ground to protect the land for future harvests, or keep it in the house to guard against evil spirits and leave it there until the following Easter. Another ritual is that the oldest woman of the house will make a cross with the dye on all the foreheads of a family for good health.
Once dried, the eggs are used to play an egg-fighting game called Borak whereby people tap the top of each other’s eggs and the person who’s egg survives any breakages is the winner and is blessed with good luck for the coming year.