Friday, 25 March 2016

A Lithuanian Easter


Happy Easter everyone! I love Easter almost as much as Christmas, but it's not just because I get to eat and drink like a crazy person... it's also about some very precious eggs.


My mum's side of the family is Lithuanian, but unfortunately when my Grandad and Grandma died, the Lithuanian connection pretty much went with them. I suppose it's like all grandparents, when they go there's a huge void where the history and tradition of a family once were. My mum has no one to speak Lithuanian to now, as me and my brother never learned as children, so for her there's an extra bit missing too. Nowadays, we hold on tight to what we do have left of our Lithuanian heritage. The food my Grandma Gerda lovingly made for us (kugalis and clairskus) and her 1950's glass baubles make an appearance every Christmas, but at Easter it's her collection of hand-painted traditional Easter eggs.


She collected these beautiful eggs all her life. I remember we tried to make them once. My mum, Grandma and me all huddled over the kitchen table with melted wax, tooth picks and eggs that had been dyed in onion water. I was hopeless at it (I was only about ten) and being self-involved I now have no idea which ones my mum and Grandma finally made.

It's the rich colours I love on these eggs. Black with yellow, red and green (gold, red and green being the colours in the Lithuanian flag). They look amazing. My Grandma Gerda stored them in an cardboard 'Customagic Covers' box wrapped in colourful serviettes. I still store them the same way now, but I've added tiny polystyrene balls as I'm paranoid about breaking them. These eggs, by the way, are not hollow. They have not been 'blown', and if you shake them you can feel the dried up solidified ball of yoke inside. 


Traditions shouldn't be preserved in aspic, so I've added to the Easter celebrations too. I always get out the eggs and put them on the wooden plate which hung on the wall of my grandma's house, but I also put out the growing number of eggs painted by Girlie. Plus, I've made a little Easter display in a Kilner jar using three Lithuanian eggs and some of Girlie's baby clothes and her first Easter ornaments. I've also added two glass eggs, which I bought a few years ago. They're hand-blown and painted, and Girlie will inherit them when I'm wizened and shouting at squirrels.


Is it all a bit sentimental? I'm not sure. Maybe. Yes. I don't really care though. I enjoy looking at the eggs and imagining my Grandma's delight in them, and I like to imagine Girlie treasuring them too, and remembering her family. If I can just preserve them until she's 30 then they'll be safe. It's exactly the same as the glass baubles... I've hidden the footballs which she likes to kick around the house, but my eyes get really really big whenever she's within a metre of them. Fingers crossed she doesn't get chocolate egg crazy and smash the lot this Easter


Have a great Easter everyone! Have you got any Easter traditions, I love to hear about them XXXX.




2 comments:

  1. The eggs look beautiful Didi! Love your Kilner jar display too. How lovely to keep your traditions alive, girlie will appreciate your efforts as she grows up I'm sure. Xxxx

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    1. Thank you Wendy. I love these eggs so much, but they're blumming delicate. I think I need a new cupboard for all the 'precious' things that are off limits until she's 30! Xxxx

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