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Easter, between decorations and symbols

Easter, between decorations and symbols

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Easter has a very rich and precise symbolism: there are in fact many elements associated with the celebration, such as the egg, the rabbit, the bell, the candle. They have been adopted by various European countries, becoming traditional decorations to hang on the door of the house or to place in the garden. Let's see some of them.


The egg is the symbol of Easter par excellence: since ancient times, it has represented life being born; according to Catholicism, it is a symbol of resurrection, being similar to the stone tomb in which Jesus was placed.

The exchange of eggs is a custom already attested in Persia, in order to celebrate the arrival of spring. However, it was in 1883 that it became an Easter gift thanks to the Crown goldsmith, Peter Carl Fabergé, who was commissioned by the Tsar to create a special gift for the Tsarina: thus the first Fabergé egg was born, a white enamelled gold egg, containing a further egg inside, also made of gold, in which a golden chick and a copy of the imperial crown are enclosed. Impressed by the technical perfection of the work, the Tsar began to order an egg every Easter, establishing a real tradition, which spread on a global scale during the 20th century.

While chocolate eggs are widespread in Italy, in Eastern European countries painted chicken eggs dominate, small masterpieces of local craftsmanship with an auspicious meaning. In Ukraine, for example, decoration is a real ritual: using the pysachok, an awl containing a small quantity of candle wax, the eggs are painted, imprinting wishes and prayers on the shell. The egg, called Pysanka, is therefore considered a sort of talisman, a symbol of luck.


Another Easter symbol is the rabbit. Although the iconography of the rabbit was already used in pre-Christian times, by pagan civilizations, which associated the animal with fertility and rebirth, tradition has it that the symbol originated in Germany, where it is known by the name of Osterhase, a sort of animal Santa Claus, who rewards good children with colored eggs. On the night of Holy Saturday, the children prepare the nest for the rabbit, with some food next to it; if the child has behaved well during the year, the rabbit will leave gifts. Legend has it that the Osterhase was born from the German goddess of fertility, Eostre, who on a spring afternoon transformed a wounded bird into a rabbit, which laid colored eggs to thank the goddess for saving its life. The custom then spread to the rest of the world, especially in the United States and Anglo-Saxon countries, even reaching Italy.


The bells are a tradition from France. They bring gifts and chocolate to the children. The rite requires that the bells not ring from Maunday Thursday to Easter Sunday, having flown to Rome, to hear the announcement of the Resurrection of Christ directly from the Pope. On the morning of Easter Sunday, the bells return and ring, signaling that Christ is resurrected and that children can hunt for eggs.


The candle is a fundamental element of Christian Easter, present in the vigil that celebrates the resurrection, during the liturgy of light. Symbolically, it represents the Risen Christ, who returns from the darkness, crushing death and sin. Its lighting takes place in a solemn procession, during which the celebrant pronounces the prayer of blessing and, at the end of which, the candles of all the faithful are lit, testifying to the light of Christ that spreads throughout the world. The shutdown instead occurs with the Pentecost mass, thus marking the end of the Easter cycle. The candle is often decorated with other Christian symbols, such as the cross, the fish, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end of everything.

Cartografica Visceglia offers in its catalog elegant handcrafted candles with personalized geographical maps, which can be used instead of candles or as original centrepieces.

Visit the site to find out more and celebrate Easter in style.

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