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Monday, March 18, 2013

Pictured: The hand-painted Easter eggs believed to ward off evil spirits and misfortune

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

The Sorbs have a rich cultural heritage, and the complex technique used since the 17th century has been passed down over generations

With a deftness of hand cultivated over generations and a technique centuries old, a Slavic minority are putting the final touches to their Easter preparations.
Easter is a particularly important time of year for Sorbs, from eastern Germany, and the period includes the tradition of painting Easter eggs.
The eggs - a symbol of fertility for Sorbs - include intricate designs believed to shield households from evil spirits and misfortune.



Sorbian traditions have been preserved over the years, such as decorating Easter eggs, which dates back to the 17th century. Easter eggs that include visual elements intended to ward off evil

Painted Easter eggs sit on display for sale at the annual Sorbian Easter market in Schleife, Germany. Eggs hold a deep symbolism for the Sorbian people

Sorbian traditions have been preserved over the years, such as decorating Easter eggs - there are even courses on this topic offered in the region

Each egg, or Jago as they are known in Sorbian, is seen as a fertility symbol in the culture

The eggs are decorated with a variety of different techniques, including waxing, etching, and scratching

The Sorbs have a rich cultural heritage, and the complex technique used since the 17th century has been passed down over generations.
The craft requires concentration and nimble fingers to achieve the detail on each egg or 'jago' as they are called in Sorbian.
It is believed the pictures and motifs traditionally used have a deeper meaning.



The craft requires concentration and nimble fingers to create the detailed and intricate decorations

Sorbian traditions go back to pagan customs, where the the egg also represented fertility. Circles represent the sun, triangles symbolise wolf's teeth to drive away evil, or connection between father, mother and child

Circles are said to represent the sun, triangles are believed to be a symbol of wolf teeth, used to ward off evil or to symbolise the connection between father, mother and child.
The Sorbs are a Slavic ethnic minority whose native region covers parts of Saxony and Brandenburg
Many Sorbian traditions - which have some pagan roots - have been preserved over the years, such as decorating Easter eggs.
The egg itself is a symbol of fertility. People in the region once used to roll eggs over fields to make the earth fertile and bring in a good harvest,
Then, after the arrival of Christianity, the eggs were blessed before being rolled over the fields.

Sorbians once rolled eggs over fields to make the earth fertile and bring in a good harvest. Then after the arrival of Christianity, the eggs were blessed before being rolled over the fields

Sorb egg painter Melanie Baier at the annual Easter egg market. Eggs are traditionally decorated with pictures and motifs that had a deeper meaning

source: dailymail



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