Recently I went on an annual family picnic which traditionally we have done for many, many years. As part of our tradition, we paint and roll hard boiled eggs down the hillside. As I grew up with this it’s a ‘normal activity’ to me and I didn’t stop to question it. Only in my adult years, when we had our own children and I was telling friends of our Easter trip out did I realise that not everyone does this. My friend was astonished and frankly fell about laughing – the cheek! haha I do smile still when I think of his initial reaction. He found it hilarious; and still does! However, to me it’s normal. It’s what we do at Easter!
In the early days my Nanna used to decorate the eggs for our trips whilst mum prepared the picnic. I recall helping her when I was really little, and she used onions to colour the water. I was fascinated. The onions would be cut with the skin left on and dropped into the boiling water. If the skin touched or even stuck to the sides of the egg then it created a lovely and unique pattern. Obviously different coloured onions gave different colours. Swirls and lines became imprinted upon the shell giving a rather exotic appearance. I think that she maybe also added a touch of food colouring to the water, or maybe it was some tea leaves to make them different shades of brown.
I will try to replicate this process and share it with you in a separate blog, if I can get the effect as I remember hers turning out.
When we were old enough, as children, my brother and I decorated our own eggs. Often using felt-tipped pens (far more modern than the onion method!) Later years saw my own children decorating them and later still, my mum would also use felt-tips to draw fun pictures on them as I then took my turn to prepare the picnic for her and my own children.
This year, without mum, it became my turn to prepare the eggs. The significance of that simple act was huge to me. But, emotion aside, I took it on with creative enthusiasm and using acrylic paint I set to, painting some that would cause laughter, and others which I took a secret pride in the design of.
Our other tradition, is to Egg Jarp. This isn’t something which I’ve done since a child though and so my own children haven’t enjoyed this in practice. Writing this blog now makes me realise that it’s something we MUST do together! I recall painting my egg and attending the Sunday School outing one year where each child would present their painted egg and enter the competition. Egg jarping is when the two contestants face one another, hold their decorated egg in one hand and get one go at knocking the other egg tip to tip with the aim of cracking the other egg but not their own. Next the other contestant gets to make a strike. And on it goes until one egg cracks and the winner is the one with the intact egg. Simple, but fun (as long as you’re not too precious about your painted egg and don’t mind it being smashed!)
Have you been egg rolling or won any egg jarping contests that you’d like to share with me, so that my friends know I’m not the only one doing this?!
I have also been writing a blog as I make changes to my life to improve all aspects of my health and have written something on our recent day egg rolling. If you wish to read more, please click here.