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Traditionally, eggs are dyed on Maundy Thursday or Holy Saturday. The first egg is always red, symbolizing the blood of Christ. Other colors hold significance too - yellow and orange symbolize wealth, green represents success, and blue, associated with the Virgin Mary, symbolizes hope and love.

If you're in Sofia during Easter, explore traditional egg dyeing techniques and decorations. And for convenient accommodation, consider our family-friendly Sofia apartments or luxury two-bedroom apartments near Vitosha mountain.


Beautiful patterned eggs are a staple of the Easter table and make the celebration more colourful and cheerful. Today there are a number of classic as well as newer and more interesting techniques for decorating them.

- The process starts with boiling the eggs.

It is desirable that they are at room temperature to reduce the risk of cracking.

They are carefully washed with a soft sponge and soap and placed in a saucepan at a close distance to each other. The size of the pot should be appropriate to the number of eggs.

Pour cold water over them, add a little salt or vinegar and put them over a medium heat.

Once the water is boiling, cook the eggs for another 8-10 minutes (to get them well cooked) now on low heat and remove from the heat. Leave them to sweat in the pot and remove and dry or dye warm - depending on the technique chosen.

- The basic and easiest way to dye eggs is with special dyes.

They can be bought from any retail store in Sofia and throughout the country.

Different types of egg dye are available - tablets, powders, liquid, gel dyes, gelatin, for crystals, marble and others.

As many bowls as there are colours are required for the preparation of the paints.

They are diluted with a little water and 1 teaspoon of vinegar (there are detailed directions on the packets).

The boiled egg is dipped in the chosen colour and kept in it for ten minutes.

The richness of the color depends on whether it will stay longer or shorter in the dye.

It is desirable to use white eggs - then they become brighter and more beautiful. Different colors can be combined - first the egg is dipped in one color, and then in another.

Once removed it is left to dry and polished with oil and cotton to give it a shine.

Usually, a larger number of red eggs are dyed, as in addition to being a symbol of the holiday, they are also used to make a health egg fight at Easter.

- Eggs with crystals - to obtain such eggs in the water in which they are boiled tartaric acid is added. It makes their shell rough. After they are dipped in dye and removed, the surface of the eggs is covered with shiny crystals.

- With gelatine - a boiled and well cooled egg is dipped in gelatine dissolved in a water bath. After removing it is drawn on with an ear stick.

The paints used should be powdery, dissolved with a little water as a thick slurry.

Already painted eggs dipped in a gelatine mixture take on an amazing sheen.

Gelatine can also be used in decoupage as decoupage glue (mix with water in the proportions indicated on the packet and put on the hob).

- With wax - a boiled and completely cooled egg is painted or written on with wax, then dipped in paint. When removed, where there was wax the paint has not taken hold and the corresponding drawing (writing) is visible.

- Marbled eggs - 1 tablespoon of oil is added to the paint and stirred.

It sticks to various places on the surface of the egg and they remain uncoloured.

Eggs can be dipped in several colours in succession.

- With petals - choose a petal (e.g. clover) and place on the egg, carefully wrap in a stocking or gauze, tie tightly and dip in dye.

Once removed it is allowed to drain, the stocking and petal are carefully removed and its imprint is left on the surface of the egg.

- Decoupage - in recent years this method has been increasingly used in decorating Easter eggs.

Small napkins or pieces of napkins with different figures and ornaments are chosen.

If the napkins are multi-layered, the bottom layers are removed and only the top layer is worked with.

A boiled and well cooled egg is smeared with a previously prepared decoupage glue of beaten egg white (powdered sugar can also be added) and the napkin elements are carefully placed on its surface. The pieces should be pressed well and the folds smoothed, then go over the top with glue and leave to dry.

Already painted eggs can also be decorated with this technique, but the pictures stand out most vividly if white eggs are used.

- With lace or figural stockings (tights).

The egg is wrapped tightly with lace, tied with thread and dipped in paint. When removed it is carefully removed with scissors.

- With thread - choose an egg from the already painted ones and brush a line through the middle of it with a previously prepared glue of beaten egg white. The thread is wrapped around the egg and left to dry.

- With cotton - this technique produces colourful and beautiful eggs.

On a large piece of cotton (enough to wrap the whole egg) with a spoon spray different colors of dissolved dyes and the boiled egg is wrapped in it.

Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and carefully remove, dry and polish with oil.

It is desirable to change the cotton after 2-3 eggs. It is advisable to use gloves.

- With napkins - similar to dyeing with cotton, different colours of dye are sprinkled into a napkin, the egg is wrapped in it and waited for a few minutes.

Amazing iridescent tones and light speckles are produced, and the patterns are very different than when cotton is used.

- Different colored dots or other shapes can be made on the surface of the egg with ear sticks.

- With a toothbrush - the bristles of the brush are dipped in paint and then touched to the surface of the egg. It is a good idea to use a white or light-coloured egg.

- With silk - a raw uncooked egg is wrapped in a piece of silk cloth (scarf, tie) or silk thread, tied tightly and boiled on low heat for about 20 minutes in water with 3-4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Then leave to cool.

- With red onion flakes - one of the oldest ways, used since our grandmothers. The eggs must be raw as they are boiled during the dyeing.

They are wrapped in onion skins (the top and darkest skins), placed carefully in a stocking, tied tightly with string and boiled for 8-10 minutes.

Then leave to cool, remove the stocking and polish.

Eggs dyed yellow-orange are obtained if boiled in a saucepan with water and onion flakes. After removing from the heat they are left to stand in the water for another 1-2 hours.

- With aluminium foil - a boiled and well cooled egg is wrapped with silver or coloured foil (including candy and chocolate wrappers).

The folds are carefully smoothed with your fingers or a spoon.

The foil should be pre-coated with a special decoupage glue.

Beautiful patterned eggs can also be made with aluminium foil, in a similar way to dyeing with cotton. A piece of it is crumpled, then unfolded and some paint (maybe of several different colours) is dripped into it. The egg is screwed tightly and left like that for a few minutes.

- With oil pastels paint on a warm but not hot egg.

Its heat melts the oil pastels and beautiful patterns are produced.

- Eggs can also be painted or scribbled on with harmless crayons, markers or pencils.

- Patches with pictures depicting favorite cartoon characters or other beautiful figurines. They are sold in many stores and bookstores.

Stick them carefully onto an already painted and well-dried egg.

- With grains of various cereals - rice, millet, lentils, corn, seeds.

The dyed egg is smeared with gelatine glue (mixed with water in the proportions indicated on the package), prepared in advance on the stove, and covered with grains of choice.

Rice or other grains can also be used to make small flecks on the eggs.

A wet egg is rolled in rice, then carefully wrapped in gauze or pantyhose, tied securely with string, and dipped in dye. Once removed, the gauze is removed and light spots remain on the surface of the egg.

- With rubber bands - before dipping into the paint, the egg is wrapped with rubber hair bands.

When removed, white streaks are left where the rubber bands were. It can then be dipped in another colour and so the strips will be coloured.

- In the past natural dyes (decoctions of herbs) were used as dyes.

And today many housewives dye eggs with dyes from nature. The process is easy but slow.

For red dye can be used roots of broch or oregano flowers, for yellow - turmeric (deep yellow), onion skins, walnut leaves, for orange - sumac, for green - nettle, spinach, for blue - violet flowers and others. With cardoons you get beautiful graphite-coloured eggs, with beetroot - pink ones, and with coffee (espresso) - brown eggs with coffee aroma