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Why do the Greeks dye the Easter eggs red?

Easter is the most important yearly festival in Greece, and the exact dates change from year to year according to the Greek Orthodox calendar.

There are different events held during Easter week, and on Good Thursday it is the time when we dye the eggs red. Lots of our readers have been asking us about the tradition so we decided to put together the most FAQ. Enjoy it!

Why do Greeks dye the eggs red?

Easter eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ, whose resurrection is celebrated on Saturday. The hard eggs shell symbolizes the sealed Tomb of Jesus Chris, from which he emerged following his crucifixion.

Is there a story for that?

There are several explanations about why Greek Easter Eggs have to be dyed red. One theory is that Saint Mary Magdalene during a discussion with Caesar about Jesus’ resurrection she picked up a hen’s egg from the dinner table. Caesar was unmoved and replied that there was as much chance of a human being returning to life as there was for the egg to turn red. Immediately, the egg miraculously turned red in her hand!

When do Greek dye the eggs?

Greeks dye the eggs red on Holy Thursday. Although red is the traditional color, in the recent years, we have started using brighter colors, and patterns. Kids also love using stickers to decorate the Easter eggs.

What do we do with the dye eggs?

We play a game – “tsougrisma” on Easter Saturday! During the Tsougrisma, two people compete against each other. Here are the steps:

· Each person holds an egg in their hand

· Then, both people tapping at each other’s egg

· The winner, then, uses the same end of the winning egg to tap the other non-cracked end of the opponent’s egg.

· The final “winner” is the one whose egg will crack the eggs of all other players participating in the Easter Saturday dinner.

The egg cracking symbolizes the open of the tomb and Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

When do we play the Tsougrisma?

Tsougrisma takes place after the resurrection on Easter Saturday at midnight or the following day during Paschal feasts.

Watch here the whole process. Thank you Vassili and Rinoula for sharing your secrets with us!

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