Decorated eggs is an old Easter tradition that was developed on Romanian soil with great craftsmanship.
A beautiful museum found in Vama, Bukovina, dedicated to this type of art stands as testimony of this tradition.
The Museum of Decorated Eggs hosts a collection of 3000 exhibits gathered from throughout Romania and abroad.
Initiator of this private initiative is Mrs. Letitia Orsvischi, artisan and creator of most exhibits found in the museum. She has represented Romania at many international exhibitions as she is very appreciated in her line of work. As an artist, she learned the craft from her family.
In Bukovina there is the popular belief, that if the sanctified Easter egg doesn’t crack the entire year until the next Easter, the family will be protected the whole year. Her family would put a sanctified egg in the egg tray, thus starting a tradition of collecting decorated eggs, tradition which is kept even today.
Access to the Egg Museum: Suceava > Gura Humorului > Frasin > Vama (54 km)
Fee: 10 RON/adult (for groups: 5 RON/person); 5 RON/teenager; 3 RON/child; a 10 RON fee for taking photos;
The collection of decorated eggs at Vama is on display in glass-cases, each case representing geographic areas or countries. At the entrance, every visitor receives an audio device, which presents the entire collection of eggs.
You will listen to the audio presentation as you visit the exhibition, and the information, although vast, is well-structured.
The collection of decorated eggs starts with the exhibits from abroad. There are eggs which have been collected by Mrs. Orsvischi for the past 12 years from international exhibitions and events. The decorated eggs represent traditions from countries such as: Hungary, Ukraine, Switzerland, Poland, Italy, Malta, Slovakia, Spain, Russia, Turkey, Vietnam, China, Pakistan, Japan, Mexico, and countries in Africa.
In another section of the exhibition there is a presentation of the traditional Romanian motifs from Bukovina used when decorating eggs: Bukovina cloth, the rake, the sun, the clover, floral motifs, religious motifs, zoomorphic motifs.
The decorated eggs collection contains 50-year old eggs belonging to Mrs. Orsvischi’s family and other old eggs from Bukovina. In the Bukovina section you can find decorative elements pertaining to Humor, Sucevita, and Voronet monasteries.
During your visit, Mrs. Letitia Orsvischi herself will explain some methods of decorating the eggs. For those of you who want to acquaint yourselves with the technique of egg decoration, the artist has workshops for such endeavour.
In Great Friday the Christians should not work, but must fast without water and food in order to be healthy and hardworking.
– In Bukovina on Easter Day, people surround the church and crack eggs, because those who do will see each other on the other side. On the first day of Easter they crack only the tip, and on the rest of the days, they crack the bottom.
– In Bukovina, the decorated eggs are called “worked upon”, because the technique requires a lot of work. You dye the eggs in different colour layers, you decorate the egg with various patterns with the help of an instrument called stylus (a wooden pencil with a fine tip through which hot wax flows). It is said that it is a pity to freely give a “worked upon” egg.
Legend says that when St. Mary came to see her crucified Son and to weep, she had a basket of eggs that she left near the cross. It is said that Jesus’ blood was spilt on the eggs, dyeing them red, and since then the Easter egg tradition lingers on.
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