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120 kg Decorated Croatian Egg on Display at Old Vienna Easter Market

Pisanica od Srca in Vienna (photo: Kroativ/archive)

A massive 120 kg decorated Easter egg from Croatia, which is a symbol of friendship, love and joy of Easter, has once again gone on display in the Austrian city of Vienna for the the Easter period.

The ‘Pisanica od srca’ (Easter egg from the heart) is a gift from the Tourist Board of Koprivnica and Križevci County, who launched the idea 10 years ago.

For the last decade a large ‘Pisanica od srca’ has been gifted to a number of different cities around the world. Last year one was gifted to Munich for the first time.

In 2012 Vienna were gifted a ‘Pisanica od srca’ and the 2.05 metre tall egg this weekend went on display at the 28th Old Vienna Easter Markets and will remain there until 17 April.

The Pisanica was painted by naïve expression artists Stjepan Pongrac, Josip Gregurić, Đuro Jaković and Zlatko Štrfiček.

The Tourist Board started the ‘Easter egg from the heart’ project in 2007 with the desire that large Easter eggs were sent all over Croatia and rest of the world as not only a recognizable note of everyday life and tradition of Podravina region, but also as a sign of friendship, love and joy of Easter.

Artists Stjepan Pongrac, Josip Gregurić, Đuro Jaković and Zlatko Štrfiček

Apart from Munich and Vienna, the eggs have also proudly been displayed in Rome, the Vatican, New York, Prague and Milan since the project launched in 2007.

The tradition of decorating Easter eggs dates back a very long time in Croatia. During Easter, eggs would be painted with bright colours, and would be given as gifts, especially to young children. Before paint became common, villagers would have to use whatever resources they had available around them to make the dyes and paints themselves.

The most common colour for eggs was red, due to the abundance of red beets and other vegetables.

On Easter day, a traditional game is played in which at least two people choose eggs and hold them vertically while one person lightly taps the end of the other egg with their end, to see whose will crack. Anyone whose egg cracks must choose another and then tap the other person’s egg, and they continue until all the eggs have been used and cracked but the last one. Whoever holds the strongest egg in the end which has not been cracked, wins.

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