Traditional decorating of Easter eggs by thread in Croatia

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Traditional decorating of Easter eggs by thread in Croatia
Domain: Traditional craftsmanship
Element inscribed on the National ICH Register of Croatia

 

A special technique and Catholic custom of decorating Easter eggs with thread is known in eastern part of Croatia. The eggs are being emptied and then decorated by applying thread in various colours and shapes. Mostly rhomboids are made and some of the colors reflect the colors from the national flag to represent the ethnic affiliation. Unlike similar techniques in some other countries, the thread is not glued onto the egg but threaded through and around the egg without any glue.

In recent years there has been decrease in the number of the bearers of this tradition, so the efforts to promote it via various activities are supported at the local and state level. NGO „Družina“ with the head Manda Svirac, Professor of Ethnology, has been motivating bearers to continue the tradition by organizing workshops, educational lectures and exhibitions in Eastern Croatia, but also in other places in the country and abroad. One of the newest uses of the Easter egg decorated by thread is as a souvenir and a gift on various occasions (expert meetings, international visits and other). Also, a handbook on how to decorate Eastern eggs by the use of thread in traditional way has been published and distributed at the initiative of Professor Svirac.

The inscription of the tradition into the national Registry in 2013 helped in raising visibility and importance of the element in the public. Further activities are planned to be organized and developed in the future, so that younger generations, through intergenerational communication, successfully take over the know-how from the members of their family and community who still keep the tradition alive.