A small Slavic minority in eastern Germany is keeping alive a long, intricate tradition of hand-painted Easter eggs that's been passed down by Sorbian families for generations.

Werner Zaroba presents an Easter egg decorated in a long and intricate tradition using knifes, feathers and wax. Photo/Markus Schreiber, AP
Werner Zaroba presents an Easter egg decorated in a long and intricate tradition using knifes, feathers and wax. Photo/Markus Schreiber, AP

At an Easter egg market in Elsterheide near the Saxon town of Hoyerswerda, around two dozen egg painters showed off their trade on Sunday.

Werner Zaroba said he learned the craft from his grandparents, remembering how as a child on Good Friday, "we would paint the eggs to give them to our godparents as an Easter present."

Easter basket: A tiny Slavic minority in Germany is keeping alive a long and intricate tradition of hand-painting Easter eggs. Photo / Markus Schreiber, AP
Easter basket: A tiny Slavic minority in Germany is keeping alive a long and intricate tradition of hand-painting Easter eggs. Photo / Markus Schreiber, AP

Decades later, the elderly man sticks to the tradition. He dips the eggs into a color bath, then using fine knives he scratches delicate patterns on the surface of the eggshell.

Advertisement

Zaroba says it takes him up to seven hours to decorate one egg alone.

Extraordinary care: A woman decorates an Easter egg with wax. Photo / Markus Schreiber, AP
Extraordinary care: A woman decorates an Easter egg with wax. Photo / Markus Schreiber, AP
Children are dressed in traditional Sorb clothes perform at an Easter Market of Germany's Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese. Photo/Markus Schreiber, AP
Children are dressed in traditional Sorb clothes perform at an Easter Market of Germany's Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese. Photo/Markus Schreiber, AP
A combination of knives, pigment and wax is used to shape and pattern the eggs. Photo / Markus Scheiber, AP
A combination of knives, pigment and wax is used to shape and pattern the eggs. Photo / Markus Scheiber, AP
Each easter eggs are decorated with a mixture of wax and pigment. Photo / /Markus Schreiber, AP
Each easter eggs are decorated with a mixture of wax and pigment. Photo / /Markus Schreiber, AP
Frozen in time: Little has changed for the Slavic minority's easter decorations. Photo / Markus Scheiber, AP
Frozen in time: Little has changed for the Slavic minority's easter decorations. Photo / Markus Scheiber, AP