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June 26, 2022

Romanian Easter traditions in Rome

As of March 25, Rome’s Basilica Santa Maria del Popolo will feature a Romanian Easter exhibit with dyed eggs and icons on wood. Apart from the large 300 egg collection from Bucharest’s Peasant Museum, the event will introduce the ancient and well-kept secret of egg-dyeing that women in the countryside, especially in Maramures, are still using today for creating true jewels on egg-shell.

Easter and all the traditions that go along remain to this day common reference marks for all Romanians, no matter where in the world they choose to live. Dyed eggs are traditional food at Easter, but of course in this category we cannot include the beautiful hand painted eggs, which are emptied of their contents. Such eggs are purely decorative. Everywhere in Romania, in the Great Thursday, eggs are dyed in red, yellow, green, blue or black, each of these colours having its special meaning, for example red stands obviously for the blood of Christ, green is a symbol of passing from Winter to Spring and black stands for Jesus suffering on the cross. Some of the areas in Romania where dyeing eggs is a well-kept tradition are Bucovina, Buzau, Vrancea or Ialomita.

Among most used techniques is “cire perdue” (low-wax casting) where a negative mould of the pattern is made, and then painting is applied. In Rome, the exhibit will be opened by officials and Romanian specialists.

The event will be followed by a classical recital with Easter music from Schubert and Brahms. The eggs and icons can be admired at the Santa Maria del Popolo Church by April 11.

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