The Museum of Decorated Eggs hosts a collection of 3000 exhibits gathered from throughout Romania and abroad.
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.
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)
- 10 RON/adult (for groups: 5 RON/person);
- 5 RON/teenager;
- 3 RON/child;
- 10 RON fee for taking photos;
The collection of decorated eggs at Vama is on display in glass-cases. Each case is 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. Also from 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. There are 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.
Traditions regarding the decoration of eggs for Easter
Romanian traditions say that the Easter eggs turn red on Great Thursday or Great Saturday, and by no means on Great Friday.
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. Those who do it will see each other on the other side. On the first day of Easter they crack only the tip. On the rest of the days, they crack the bottom.
Throughout Romania, people cracking the other’s egg will greet and say “Christ is risen!”. The other will reply “Indeed, He is Risen!”.
- In Bukovina, the decorated eggs are called “worked upon”, because the technique requires a lot of work.
- You dye the eggs in different colours layers. You decorate the egg with various patterns with the help of an instrument called stylus. This is 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.
- It is said a tongue-in-cheek manner, that the badly decorated eggs were meant to be decorated that way so that the hen wouldn’t recognise them.
- In some villages, people used to empty the yolk and egg white and then hung them on the trees in front of their houses, just like Christmas fir trees.
In Romania, not having red Easter eggs for the Easter feast is unheard of. The symbol of the red eggs is tantamount to the Passions of Christ.
Legend says that 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 split on the eggs, dyeing them red. Since then the Easter egg tradition lingers on.