Colouring eggs for Easter and Persian New Year proved so much fun for our little multicultural family this year, particularly during lockdown.
I was having a conversation with H the other day about how my grandma used to colour eggs for Easter. We discovered that his mamam bozorg (gran) was also colouring eggs the same way for Persian New Year. Persians have been decorating eggs for more than 4,000 years!
As a child growing up in the UK, I remember my gran boiling eggs with onion skins on the stove. She’d tie the onion skin around the eggs with string first. Then she would fill the pot up with water, add half a cup of vinegar and pop them in. The smell of them cooking was something else! I can’t remember how long she left them on the stove. However once she unwrapped them, the egg shells had a lovely marbled effect.
This year, I bought C some ceramic eggs from Tesco to paint for Nowruz and Easter which he loved. The four eggs came packaged in a cute little egg box too which was a nice touch. They also came with three brightly coloured paints and a sheet of ideas to get little C started.
Before we decorated the eggs, little C and I took some inspiration from some ancient Persian art. Persian art has one of the most interesting heritages across the world and artists worked in both gold and silver! Many Persian designs use geometric patterns with motifs derived from plants.
We were using basic tools for this job. Our washable Crayola paints (£4) were just perfect. I was astonished at how many colours we had at our disposal. There were 18 shades to choose from and they came with a good sturdy brush too.
Little C painted his eggs in layers, one at a time. First the base coat, which was a bit tricky, because he was painting his fingers at the same time! As one egg dried, the next one was ready to paint again.
Once the base layers of the eggs were all dry, little C added some more colour. Adding Persian kings to the eggs was a little challenging for my pint-sized Picasso. So he stuck to swirling lines and dots. It was lovely to see he had a creative streak – and plenty of patience too.
He might not as skilled as some of the ancient Persian artists were. However little C did take his egg-painting very seriously. At least he has created something more authentic than a shop-bought chocolate egg this Easter.
Happy Easter / Nowruz and happy egg-painting folks!