Anita Čokljat, a member of local association DEŠA, has been skillfully painting eggs at Easter for over ten years. Her love of the art was born at one of DEŠA’s annual workshops. Living in Primorje where the intricate skill hails from she enjoys the many traditions of the area and has fallen in love with their way of life , ”It’s my wish to pass on the tradition to the children so that they stay faithful to their home town and nurse its traditions. For a few years now the primary school in Orašac has been teaching the pupils the skill from the ages of 6-11 and the children take it on board really well. If you’ve got a flair for it the second egg you paint is already better than the first and by third you can be called a master egg painter.”
Girls or older women who practice the craft hold the egg in their left hand and in their right hand hold the needle used to paint with. They dip the needle in hot melted wax and paint on the egg making thicker and thinner characters. All of this is done very quickly so the wax doesn’t go cold on the needle. Stars, rings, dots and dashes are designed. In addition written greetings are painted on.
Traditional egg painting begins around eight days before Easter, on Palm Sunday. Young girls would traditionally secretly gift the first egg they painted to a boy they liked on Easter. A newly married woman would be obliged to gift twelve eggs to each member of the bridal party in days gone by.
If you’d like to take home a traditionally painted egg as a souvenir be sure to visit the Easter Fair held at Luza under the bell tower in the Old Town every Day. The Fair is open from 10 am ’til 6 pm and is filled with interesting products.