Spend Easter with Bulgarians

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What is an Easter without colored eggs? Easter Eggs are like the Christmas Tree during Christmas time but do we know why we color eggs and how the tradition started? The Easter Eggs symbolize the new life/new beginning. Following the Christian Orthodox beliefs, Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus Christ’s followers, brings an egg to Emperor Tiberius and tells him about Jesus’s Resurrection. On which, the Emperor responds that if this is really the truth, the egg that Mary Magdalene carries should turn red, and it happens. This is also the reason why the most important color in the Easter tradition is the red color and the color symbolizes resurrection. Bulgarian Orthodox always color the first egg in red and the coloring happens on the Thursday or Saturday before Easter. However, eggs should not be eaten before the actual day of Easter Sunday.

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Why do I love Easter so much?

Every Easter Morning, my mom was waking me and my sister up by rubbing a red egg on our foreheads and cheeks for health. Then we were joining for breakfast sitting on a beautifully decorated Easter table with colored eggs, banitsa, kozunak, and anything else my mom was preparing for us. This was also the moment when we were following one of the most beloved by kids and adults tradition of the so called “Egg Fight”. The egg fight symbolizes breaking of the doors to the Hell and the celebration of life over death. Some interpret it also as the collision of the different worlds and the triumph of the good over the bad.

What exactly is the Easter Egg fight?

Everyone picks an egg that she/he thinks that may be the strongest one of all. Then that person exchanges the egg with the first person they would like to egg fight with. They need to fight first with the sharper side of the eggs which I call “the heads” and after that they exchange the eggs again and they fight with the other side of the eggs which I call “the butts”. The winner is the person with the egg that has survived the fight or at least one of the sides has survived the fight. Then that person goes to the next person with an egg that has survived. The winner is the person with the egg that has left unbroken. Then that egg is called the “fighter” and that egg is placed somewhere in the house and kept safe for the entire year to keep the health in the house.

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Here is a traditional Bulgarian Folklore Dance for Easter. Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates, no matter what traditions or beliefs you have.  Enjoy!

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