It’s Easter time! And in Lithuania we do it our way!
I was wondering what was like to spend this period of the year in this beautiful country and finally found out the two Easter things that were new or surprising to me.
1. Velykų margučiai AKA Painting Easter Eggs!
Last year it was my second time with one within the most beautiful Lithuanian Easter tradition: painting eggs.
It goes without saying: although eggs play an important role in symbology and surely enough are part of my Italian background (in Italy we eat eggs made of chocolate), this tradition (the one I will soon describe) was a total surprise to me.
I felt the same awkward Nordic feeling one would find in a Kaurismaki’s movie scene when, after boiling whitened chicken eggs (specifically sold for the occasion), we painted them with our friends and then rushed on the carpet to play with them.
After the decoration part comes the game.
Everyone, using a slide, tries to crush the other eggs and conquer them until the one who gathers the most eggs wins.
Another popular game is played one-on-one. Participants simply hit the other’s one egg from the top with their own, alternately, until the looser gets his egg cracked.
[Below some pics of possibly the third version, played some days ago at Rise Vilnius]
Fun fact: in Vilnius there is even an Easter Egg statue.
2. Velykų boba AKA Lithuanian Panettone
Ok, I will admit it: it was my idea to call it Lithuanian Panettone.
Luckily enough I don’t live in Italy at the moment. For things like that I could get my passport on fire and be exiled on the spot.
This yeast leavened cake looks like a Panettone that has made it to Easter.
Time passed and the dough shrank to one third of a full Italian Christmas Panettone.
Slicing it you would still see some dried fruits spread all around but the magic ends here.
However it was quite curious to see this small jazzy cake (the Easter Witch, as it is called) popping up on the table.