Learn how to dye the prettiest Easter eggs with these easy tips and tricks. But first, you’ll make hard boiled eggs. Then have some fun trying different special effects!
How to Dye Easter Eggs: The Basics
To start, cover a table with layers of old newspaper to soak up any spills.
Create a drying rack by sticking pins into a sheet of thick foam board.
For colorfast egg dyes, mix 7-8 drops of food coloring into 1 cup of hot water. Stir in 1/4 cup vinegar. For more intense colors, use small amounts of professional-quality food coloring gels or pastes, available at craft, cake decorating and kitchen supply stores.
If you’re doing multi-colored eggs, let them dry thoroughly between coats of dye.
Store finished and dried eggs in empty egg cartons.
Easy Special Effects
Wrap eggs with twine or rubber bands before dyeing to create a striped effect. Remove after drying.
Create patterns with small bits of tape or stickers and remove after dyeing and drying.
Dab rubber cement on eggs and rub it off after dyeing and drying.
For spattered eggs, dip egg in a base color and let dry. Dip a clean toothbrush in a contrasting liquid color and carefully flick bristles with your fingers to make paint splatter onto egg.
For marbleized eggs, coat eggs with a base color and let dry. Mix canola or other light cooking oil into another color of dye (1 teaspoon oil per cup of dye) and quickly dunk eggs. The oil will repel color in some places and the dye will adhere in others, creating a marbled effect.
Daisies belong to one of the largest plant families in existence, making up 10 percent of the world’s flowering plants. Though we might traditionally only think of the Common Daisy or the Gerbera Daisy when we imagine this bright spring bloom, there happen to be more than 20,000 types of “daisies”. In fact, the daisy belongs to the Asteraceaefamily, along with sunflowers, chrysanthemums, and even lettuce!
Because this plant family is so large, daisies within it can vary wildly. The African Daisy, for instance, comes in many petal color combinations, with a bright blue center, while the English Daisy is a traditional white and yellow.
Gerbera Daisies are some of the most popular cut flowers sold by florists, only behind roses and carnations. These bright blooms are native to South Africa and bloom in a huge array of colors, such as white, pink, red, yellow, and orange. While they are a little tricky to grow – needing lots of direct sunlight but disliking hot temperatures – they are pretty durable during the winter months.
These babies are best grown in pots so that you can move them to an ideal location depending on the season. Shoot for full sunlight, with moist soil during the summer and dry soil in between waterings during the winter.
This bloom is, obviously, from Africa, and thus requires conditions similar to those found in Africa. It prefers heat and full sun, and needs well-drained soil, but will tolerate dry soil well. Though this plant seems finicky, its only real requirement is full sun; beyond that, it doesn’t ask for much.
Natively, the African Daisy blooms after spring rain and continues all summer. Though it’s tough enough to live in hot, dry conditions, a modicum of moisture will bring out bright and beautiful blooms. Even in the off-season, though, this plant offers wonderful foliage: the leaves are a breathtaking, supernatural greenish-grey. African Daisies are traditionally white with a steel blue center, but hybrids come in yellow, cream, purple, orange, red, and more!
The Painted Daisy is a perennial with petals in hues of red, yellow, white, violet, and pink. These bouquet favorites bloom from late spring to mid-summer in bushy clumps, growing one to three feet tall.
Painted Daisies are native to southwestern Asia, but have become popular in North American gardens for the protection they lend to other plants. These pretty blooms repel many bad bugs and browsing animals; in fact, their repellent properties are so beneficial that the petals are often dried and used in organic insecticides.
Plant in well-drained soil in full sun to shade, in an area that is neither too hot nor too humid.
Purple Cone Flower
This type of daisy can grow nearly four feet tall, with vibrant purple petals and a yellow-brown center. Purple Cone flowers are not only beautiful plants you come across in the countryside – they are also used for medicinal purposes, in cold remedies to stimulate the immune system.
This flower is found mostly on the eastern part of North America, like New England, but grows as far south as Texas.
Otherwise known as the Black-Eyed Susan, this daisy is a hardy American wildflower, and can be recognized for its signature yellow or gold petals and dark centers.
Black-Eyed Susans typically grow between two and three feet tall. They like to be in the sunlight and can handle a forgetful owner, since they’re used to growing in droughts.
Tasso Pink Daisy
This pink bloom is more bulb-like than a traditional English Daisy, with a smaller center. These blooms are biennial, meaning they last through one season, but self-seed to provide future generations.
This strain features loads of little button-like flowers, coming in all shades of pink – even a “strawberries and cream” strain. Removing faded flowers regularly will keep this plant blooming well into the summer.
With so many different flowers that can be used at Easter, what is your favorite?
Tulips (Tulipa) form a genus of spring-blooming perennials (having bulbs as storage organs). The flowers are usually large, showy and brightly colored, generally red, pink, yellow, or white (usually in warm colours). They often have a different coloured blotch at the base of the tepals (petals and sepals, collectively), internally. Because of a degree of variability within the populations, and a long history of cultivation, classification has been complex and controversial. The tulip is a member of the Liliaceae (lily) family, along with 14 other genera, where it is most closely related to Amana, Erythronium and Gagea in the tribe Lilieae. There are about 75 species, and these are divided among four sub genera. The name “tulip” is thought to be derived from a Persian word for turban, which it may have been thought to resemble. Tulips originally were found in a band stretching from Southern Europe to Central Asia, but since the seventeenth century have become widely naturalized and cultivated. In their natural state they are adapted to steppes and mountainous areas with temperate climates. Flowering in the spring, they become dormant in the summer once the flowers and leaves die back, emerging above ground as a shoot from the underground bulb in early spring.
While tulips had probably been cultivated in Asia from the tenth century, they did not come to the attention of the West until the sixteenth century, when Western diplomats to the Ottoman court observed and reported on them. They were rapidly introduced into Europe and became a frenzied commodity during Tulip mania. Tulips were frequently depicted in Dutch Golden Age paintings, and have become associated with the Netherlands, the major producer for world markets, ever since. In the seventeenth century Netherlands, during the time of the Tulip mania, an infection of tulip bulbs by the tulip breaking virus created variegated patterns in the tulip flowers that were much admired and valued. This phenomenon was referred to as “broken”.
Breeding programs have produced thousands of hybrid and cultivars in addition to the original species (known in horticulture as botanical tulips). They are popular throughout the world, both as ornamental garden plants and as cut flowers.
Tulips are a spring-blooming perennial, dying back after flowering to an underground storage bulb. Depending on the species, tulip plants can be between 4 inches (10 cm) and 28 inches (71 cm) high.
The tulip’s flowers are usually large. In structure, the flower is generally cup or star shaped. Tulip stems have few leaves. Larger species tend to have multiple leaves. Plants typically have two to six leaves, some species up to 12. The tulip’s leaf is strap-shaped, with a waxy coating, and the leaves are alternate (alternately arranged on the stem), diminishing in size the further up the stem. These fleshy blades are often bluish-green in color.
Introduction to the United States
It is believed the first tulips in the United States were grown near Spring Pond at the Fay Estate in Lynn and Salem, Massachusetts. From 1847 to 1865, Richard Sullivan Fay, Esq., one of Lynn’s wealthiest men, settled on 500 acres located partly in present-day Lynn and partly in present-day Salem. Mr. Fay imported many different trees and plants from all parts of the world and planted them among the meadows of the Fay Estate.
More about Easter Flowers in Part 4 of this series.
(Information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
The daffodil is a symbol of rebirth – a sign of the new beginnings that come with spring. Daffodils are often found connected with Easter and Easter religious services because of their new birth significance.
Daffodils are the birthday flower of March, the same month as the spring equinox that heralds the beginning of a new season.
Long celebrated in art and literature, narcissi (various common names include daffodil and jonquil) are associated with a number of themes in different cultures, ranging from death to good fortune, and as symbols of Spring. The daffodil is the national flower of Wales associated with St. David’s Day. In other cultures it many be associated with wealth, good fortune and beauty. Because of the time that it flowers it is also a symbol of Spring, and associated religious festivals such as Easter, hence the use of Lent lily or in German, Easter bells, among its common names. The appearance of the wild flowers in spring is also associated with festivals in many places. While prized for its ornamental value, there is also an ancient cultural association with death, at least for pure white forms.
Historically the narcissus has appeared in written and visual arts since antiquity, being found in graves from Ancient Egypt. In classical Graeco-Roman literature the narcissus is associated with both the myth of the youth who was turned into a flower of that time, and with the Goddess Persephone, snatched into the underworld as she gathered their blooms. Narcissi were said to grow in meadows in the underworld. In these contexts they frequently appear in the poetry of the period from Stasinos to Pliny.
In western European culture narcissi and daffodils are among the most celebrated flowers in English literature, from Gower to Day-Lewis, while the best known poem is probably that of Wordsworth. In the visual arts, narcissi are depicted in three different contexts, mythological, floral art, or landscapes, from mediaeval altar pieces to Salvador Dalí.
The narcissus also plays an important part in Eastern cultures from their association with the New year in Chinese culture to symbolizing eyes in Islamic art. The word ‘Daffodil’ has been used widely in popular culture from Dutch cars to Swedish rock bands, while many cancer charities have used it as a fundraising symbol.
The daffodil is the national flower of Wales, where it is traditional to wear a daffodil or a leek on Saint David’s Day (March 1). In Welsh the daffodil is known as “Peter’s Leek”, (cenhinen Bedr or cenin Pedr), the leek (cenhinen) being the other national symbol. The narcissus is also a national flower symbolizing the new year or Newrozin the Kurdish culture.
The narcissus is perceived in the West as a symbol of vanity, in the East as a symbol of wealth and good fortune (see Eastern cultures). In classical Persian literature, the narcissus is a symbol of beautiful eyes, together with other flowers that equal a beautiful face with a spring garden, such as roses for cheeks and violets for shining dark hair.
In western countries the daffodil is associated with spring festivals such as Lent and its successor Easter. In Germany the wild narcissus, N. pseudonarcissus, is known as Osterglocke or “Easter bell.” In the United Kingdom, particularly in ecclesiastical circles, the daffodil is sometimes variously referred to as the Lenten or Lent lily.[ Tradition has it that the daffodil opens on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, and dies at Easter which marks the end of Lent.[
Although prized as an ornamental flower, some people consider narcissi unlucky, because they hang their heads implying misfortune, and hence refuse to have them in the house. White narcissi are especially associated with death, especially the pure white N triandrus ‘Thalia’, and hence are considered grave flowers.[ Indeed, in Ancient Greece narcissi were planted near tombs. Robert Herrick, describes them as portents of death, an association which also appears in the myth of Persephone and the underworld.
The daffodil is the American Cancer Society’s symbol of new life and hope that a cure for cancer will be found. “You see a daffodil and know there’s hope,” says Debbie Jaramillo, volunteer chair, California Division Daffodil Days. “And with hope, there’s a cure. They’re a burst of sunshine, a ray of hope. Even if it is still cold outside, you know there’s warmth and light ahead.”
More about flowers used at Easter in Part 3.
(Information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Lilium longiflorum (often called the Easter Lily, is a plant endemic to both Taiwan and Ryukyu Islands (Japan). Lilium formosana, a closely related species from Taiwan, has been treated as a variety of Easter lily in the past. It is a stem rooting lily, growing up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) high. It bears a number of trumpet shaped, white, fragrant, and outward facing flowers.
Plants tend to grow from about 50 cm (20 in) to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) tall. They have long oval leaves and the vein enters the horizontal direction. From April to June, the plant’s flowering season, it produces pure white flowers on top of the stem. The stem has a cylindrical shape, with a diameter of about 5 cm (2.0 in).
Use in Easter
Lilium longiflorum is known as the Easter Lily because in Christianity, it is a symbol of the resurrection of Christ, which is celebrated during Easter. The “Lily has always been highly regarded in the Church”, as Jesus Himself referenced the flower, saying “Consider the Lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Luke 12:27). Moreover, according to pious legend, “after Jesus’ death and resurrection, some of these beautiful flowers were found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus went to pray the night before His crucifixion. Legend has it that these flowers sprung up where drops of Jesus’ sweat fell as he prayed”. In many Christian churches, the chancel is adorned with Easter Lilies throughout the Paschal season.
From the 1890s to the early 1920s, there was a thriving export trade of bulbs from Bermuda to New York. In 1903, USDA Agricultural Research Services (ARS) started to distribute disease free plant materials and seeds. The agency also started a breeding program, and released one of the first dwarf cultivars for potted-plant production in 1929. Prior to USDA’s effort, Lily bulbs were mostly imported from Japan before the 1940s. The supply of bulbs was suddenly cut off after the attack on Pearl Harbor and Easter Lilies became extremely valuable in the United States.
Currently, nearly all Easter Lily bulbs used in North America are grown on coastal bottom lands in northwestern California and southwestern Oregon, particularly in the town of Smith River, California, according to the trade association Easter Lily Research Association.
Some Lilium species are toxic to cats. This is known to be so especially for L. longiflorum, though other Lilium and the unrelated Hemerocallis can also cause the same symptoms.[ The true mechanism of toxicity is undetermined, but it involves damage to the renal tubular epithelium (composing the substance of the kidney and secreting, collecting, and conducting urine), which can cause acute renal failure. Veterinary help should be sought, as a matter of urgency, for any cat that is suspected of eating any part of a lily – including licking pollen that may have brushed onto its coat.
(Information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Stay tuned to more about flowers associated with Easter in Part 2 of this series!
Fasting during Lent was more prominent in ancient times than today. Socrates Scholastic reports that in some places, all animal products were strictly forbidden, while various others permitted fish, or fish and fowl, others prohibited fruit and eggs, and still others permitted only bread. In many places, the observant abstained from food for a whole day until the evening, and at sunset, Western Christians traditionally broke the Lenten fast, which was often known as the Black Fast.[ In India and Pakistan, many Christians continue this practice of fasting until sunset on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, with some fasting in this manner throughout the whole season of Lent.[
For Catholics before 1966, the theoretical obligation of the penitential fast throughout Lent except on Sundays was to take only one full meal a day. In addition, a smaller meal, called a collation, was allowed in the evening, and a cup of some beverage, accompanied by a little bread, in the morning. In practice, this obligation, which was a matter of custom rather than of written law, was not observed strictly.[ The 1917 Code of Canon Law allowed the full meal on a fasting day to be taken at any hour and to be supplemented by two collations, with the quantity and the quality of the food to be determined by local custom. Abstinence from meat was to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on Fridays and Saturdays in Lent. The Lenten fast ended on Holy Saturday at noon. Only those aged 21 to 59 were obliged to fast. As with all ecclesiastical laws, particular difficulties, such as strenuous work or illness, excused one from observance, and a dispensation from the law could be granted by a bishop or parish priest. A rule of thumb is that the two collations should not add up to the equivalent of another full meal. Rather portions were to be: “sufficient to sustain strength, but not sufficient to satisfy hunger”.[
In 1966, Pope Paul VI reduced the obligatory fasting days to Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, abstinence days to Fridays and Ash Wednesday, and allowed episcopal conferences to replace abstinence and fasting with other forms of penitence such charity and piety, as declared and established in his apostolic constitution Paenitemini. This was done so that those in countries where the standard of living is lower can replace fasting with prayer, but “…where economic well-being is greater, so much more will the witness of asceticism have to be given…” This was made part of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which made obligatory fasting for those aged between 18 and 59, and abstinence for those aged 14 and upward. The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference decided to allow other forms of Friday penance to replace that of abstinence from meat, whether in Lent or outside Lent, suggesting alternatives such as abstaining from some other food, or from alcohol or smoking; making a special effort at participating in family prayer or in Mass; making the Stations of the Cross; or helping the poor, sick, old, or lonely.[ The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales made a similar ruling in 1985[ but decided in 2011 to restore the traditional year-round Friday abstinence from meat. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has maintained the rule of abstention from meat on Friday only during Lent.
Many Lutheran Churches advocate fasting during designated times such as Lent, especially on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
The historic Methodist homilies regarding the Sermon on the Mount stress the importance of the Lenten fast, which begins on Ash Wednesday.
(Information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Lent is a solemn religious observance in the Christian liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later, before Easter Sunday. The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for Easter through prayer, doing penance, mortifying the flesh, repentance of sins, alms giving, and denial of ego. This event is observed in the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian, Oriental Orthodox, Reformed, and Roman Catholic Churches. Some Anabaptist and evangelical churches also observe the Lenten season.[
The last week of Lent is Holy Week, starting with Palm Sunday. Following the New Testament story, Jesus’ crucifixion is commemorated on Good Friday, and at the beginning of the next week the joyful celebration of Easter Sunday recalls the accounts of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In Lent, many Christians commit to fasting, as well as giving up certain luxuries in order to replicate the account of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ’s journey into the desert for 40 days; this is known as one’s Lenten sacrifice. Many Christians also add a Lenten spiritual discipline, such as reading a daily devotional or praying through a Lenten calendar, to draw themselves near to God. The Stations of the Cross, a devotional commemoration of Christ’s carrying the Cross and of his execution, are often observed. Many Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches remove flowers from their altars, while crucifixes, religious statues, and other elaborate religious symbols are often veiled in violet fabrics in solemn observance of the event. Throughout Christendom, some adherents mark the season with the traditional abstention from the consumption of meat, most notably among Lutherans, Roman Catholics and Anglicans.
Lent is traditionally described as lasting for 40 days, in commemoration of the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, before beginning his public ministry, during which he endured temptation by Satan. Depending on the Christian denomination and local custom, Lent ends on the evening of Thursday with Easter Vigil at sundown on Holy Saturday, on the morning of Easter Sunday, or at the midnight between them.
There are traditionally 40 days in Lent; these are marked by fasting, both from foods and festivities, and by other acts of penance. The three traditional practices to be taken up with renewed vigor during Lent are prayer (justice towards God), fasting (justice towards self), and alms giving (justice towards neighbors).
However, in modern times, observers give up partaking in vices and often invest the time or money saved in charitable purposes or organizations.[
In addition, some believers add a regular spiritual discipline, to bring them closer to God, such as reading a Lenten daily devotional.[ Another practice commonly added is the singing of the Stabat Mater hymn in designated groups. Among Filipino Catholics, the recitation of Jesus Christ’ passion, called Pasiong Mahal, is also observed. In some Christian countries, grand religious processions and cultural customs are observed, and the faithful attempt to visit seven churches during Holy Week in honor of Jesus Christ heading to Mount Calvary.[c
In many liturgical Christian denominations, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday form the Easter Triduum. Lent is a season of grief that necessarily ends with a great celebration of Easter. Thus, it is known in Eastern Orthodox circles as the season of “Bright Sadness”. It is a season of sorrowful reflection which is punctuated by breaks in the fast on Sundays.
(Information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Saint Joseph’s Day, March 19, the Feast of Saint Joseph is in Western Christianity the principal feast day of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and legal father of Jesus Christ. It has the rank of a solemnity in the Catholic Church. It is a feast or commemoration in the provinces of the Anglican Communion, and a feast or festival in the Lutheran Church. Saint Joseph’s Day is the Patronal Feast day for Poland as well as for Canada, persons named Joseph, Josephine, etc., for religious institutes, schools and parishes bearing his name, and for carpenters. It is also Father’s Day in some Catholic countries, mainly Spain, Portugal, and Italy. It is a holiday of obligation for Catholics, unless the particular Episcopal Conference has waived the obligation.
Popular customs among Christians of various liturgical traditions observing Saint Joseph’s Day are attending Mass, wearing red-coloured clothing, carrying dried fava beans that have been blessed, and assembling home altars dedicated to Saint Joseph.
March 19 always falls during Lent, and traditionally it is a day of abstinence. This explains the custom of Saint Joseph tables being covered with meatless dishes.
ST. JOSEPH’S DAY TRADITIONS
St. Joseph altars, representing the Holy Trinity, are divided into three sections with a statue of St. Joseph at the head. The devout place candles, figurines, flowers, medals and other items around the alter creating a beautiful, lush and overflowing effect. Because the altars thank St. Joseph for relieving hunger, offerings of food are added to the cornucopia that anyone is welcome to feast on during the holiday.
Cookies, cakes and breads, often in the form of shell fish, are common decorations for altars. Fava beans, or “lucky beans” are particularly associated with St. Joseph because they sustained the Sicilians throughout famine. Pick some up for good luck! As tradition has it, the altar is broken up on St. Joseph’s Day with a ceremony of costumed children, pretending to look for shelter, finding sustenance at the altar. Food and donations are then distributed to the public with leftovers going to the poor.
(Information obtained from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )