Pisanica – the decorative painting of Easter eggs – is a symbol of friendship, love and joy of Easter in Croatia.
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.
Since 2007 the Tourist Board of Koprivnica and Križevci County in Croatia has traditionally organised a unique outdoor exhibition of large decorated Easter eggs called ‘Pisanica od srca’ (Easter egg from the heart) over the Easter period.
The Tourist Board started the ‘Easter egg from the heart’ project 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
The 10th exhibition this year will be held on Zrinski Square in Koprivnica from 24 March – 10 April 2017.
Since 2008 the ‘Pisanica od srca’ have held the status of a Croatian cultural intangible assest and the eggs have been gifted to be displayed over the years during Easter around cities in Europe.
In 2016 they were in Munich, and have also proudly been displayed in Rome, the Vatican, New York, Prague, Vienna, and Milan over the last decade.