Friday, 14 April 2017
Happy Easter! Häid lihavõtteid!
In Estonia, Easter marks the beginning of spring- it's a time of celebration and tradition. Some of these 19th century traditions are still practised today!
Easter is referred to by many different names in Estonian: Ületõusmispüha (Resurrection), Lihavõtted (literally meaning meat-taking holiday, marking the end of Lent), Munadepüha (egg holiday), and Kiigepühad (swing holiday, referring to the tradition of swinging on the large wooden village swing on Easter Sunday).
Easter Sunday in Estonia is usually celebrated with a long lunch, egg painting, and an old fashioned Easter egg hunt. It's common to decorate your own eggs, typically the eggs are painted with natural colourings like onion skins or beetroot juice, then put in a basket as a centerpiece for the table. Having real eggs on the table is crucial for the after meal egg-knocking competition, where each year a new champion emerges. It's simple, you tap the end of your egg against your opponent's and the shell that doesn't crack is the winner!
Many of the Easter customs, like egg-knocking, that are still practised today come from old folk traditions. Egg rolling, though not widely practised, has the same principle as egg knocking, trying to crack your opponent's egg. An egg is rolled down a pile of sand to try and hit other eggs- how intricate the ramp is, is completely up to you. The person whose egg remains intact, wins!
Posted by Tania Lestal