The week before Eastern is a very special week. Every day of this week is Great – Great Monday, Great Тuesday and ect. The Friday is not Great Friday – it is the crucifixion Friday.
On Great Thursday tradition is to prepare a special sweet bread – kozunak and to paint eggs.
To make a kozunak takes at least half a day. Тhe dough must be mixed by hand very long. A lot of kozunaks are selled but theay are not with 6 eggs, butter and so tasty.
This year I had the chance to be at home and to prepare the traditional Eastern sweet bread. Few years ago I tried to make kozunak but they were raw finally. We will see this year.
On Great Thursday we paint eggs. The first egg is red. We keep the first egg the whole year. The eggs must be painted before the sunset.
The tradition with the painted eggs
Why do Bulgarian paint eggs? The egg was a pagan symbol and later it becomes christian. The egg is a symbol of life. The ancient Romans and Babylonians welcomed the spring with colorful eggs.
In the past the paint was natural – prepared with beet, nettles and onion. There are a lot of tricks to decorate the Eeastern eggs. One of them is to put the egg with a leaf of parsley in a ladies thin sock, then to bind tightly and to dunk the egg in the paint. The place where the leaf of parsley was is not painted.
The difference between ‘painted’ and ‘decorated’ Eastern egg
In Bulgarian we say ‘писано яйце’ that means egg decorated with love and care.
There is a very good phrase in Bulgarian “to take care of the child like of the decorated egg” than means “keep like the apple of o.’s eye”.