Greek Easter customs

Red eggs (kokkina avga) are a traditional part of the Greek Easter Sunday celebration. They are lovingly made, either with onion skins or dye and then woven and baked into a tsoureki (three-braided Easter bread signifying the Holy Trinity),used as table decorations, and are the key piece to a fun game called tsougrisma, which tests the eggs' strength—and perhaps the players' strategy.

The word tsougrisma means "clinking together" or "clashing." In Greek, it is τσούγκρισμα and is pronounced TSOO-grees-mah. The cracking tradition symbolizes Christ's resurrection from the dead and birth into eternal life.

Red Egg Tradition

In Greece, red Easter eggs are traditionally dyed on Holy Thursday, but they can be done on any day leading up to Easter Sunday. They are the first food eaten after the strict fasting of Lent in some families, while others enjoy them after dinner when everyone is gathered around the table to play the game.

The red color symbolizes the blood and sacrifice of Christ on the cross and the egg symbolizes rebirth. The first red egg that is dyed is considered to be the egg of the Virgin Mary and is saved in the home for protection against the evil eye until the next year when a new "first egg" is dyed. Yet others take the egg to the midnight church service on Holy Saturday known as the anastisi.