One of the symbols of Easter - the painted egg, is an opportunity for real fun for children and adults, and the goal is to get the most beautiful drawing. You can catch the colors today, Maundy Thursday, or failing that, Maundy Saturday.
These days various paints and dyes, stickers, banderoli, crystals and what not come to the rescue.
In the past, however, when they were missing, Easter eggs were no less beautiful. One of the oldest and original techniques is with the so-called pen and wax.
The pen was made from a silver coin wrapped in a tube or funnel, which women gave to a goldsmith to prepare for them and then stuck at the end of a split stick, explains Assoc. Dr. Svetla Rakshieva from the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore at the Ethnographic Museum at the BAS.
The wax in the funnel or tube is heated over the heat of a flame or on the stove, it liquefies and it is painted on the surface of the egg. Then it is dipped in paint, and the wax pattern is whitened, so delicate lines are sculpted - like real lace.
One of the most popular natural dyes is broch. Eggs were dyed wine red with this herb. Also used were red oregano, onion skins, with which it can be obtained from lemon yellow to dark red, sumac, the bulbs of the sansica and crocus, milkweed, walnut peels, etc.
In Velingrad, where the tradition has survived to this day, competitions are held every year for the most beautifully written Easter egg and the prize is the silver pen. The local museum has the only exhibition of painted eggs in our country.
A regular grid can be built on top of the egg and smaller ornaments can be inserted. You can also paint randomly arranged braids, but the idea is to fill the entire surface with ornaments that carry their symbolism related to the meaning and significance of Easter.
In Bulgaria there are many different traditions for decorating eggs and the wax technique was spread mainly in the western regions - Samokovsko, Ikhtimansko, the Dolna Banya area, Kostenets, Momina Klisura, Chepinska Kotlovina, Etropole, Botevgradsko.
It is present, albeit weaker, in Northeastern Bulgaria around Razgrad and Targovishte.
A very simple primary and elementary variant of the wax technique is spread throughout the country, which exists to this day - women bought or prepared a candle made of pure beeswax, with which they drew letters, crosses, suns, stars, flowers, then dipped the egg in the paint and in the place where they painted with the wax candle, white prints were obtained, the ethnologist says.
These drawings became quite large and rough, so in other places this option is spread - applying the wax with a pen, in which much finer ornaments can be obtained.