Easter in Croatia

Easter is a spiritual holiday focusing on remembering the crucifixion of Christ and celebrating his resurrection. Most Croatians are Catholics and observe Easter as one of the holiest days of the year. Good Friday is a day for fasting. No meat is eaten on this day, so a variety of meatless dishes are usually prepared.

On Easter Sunday, everyone attends mass to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, according to the tradition of the Catholic Church. At home, there is yet another festive celebration with abundant amounts of food. Smoked ham with “hren” (horseradish), is served along with perhaps a roast lamb dish and numerous delectable side dishes. Dessert features a variety of tortes, cookies, and of course strong, aromatic coffee. Traditionally, colorful Easter eggs are found on every Croatian table. The eggs remain on the table all day for family and guests to enjoy before the main meal is served. The eggs are colored using natural dyes from vegetables like onions and beets. A simple marking on the eggs is made using a clear piece of wax to draw on various decorations. The decorated eggs are called the pisanica.

Kockanje or tucanje is a simple game usually played among children and still enjoyed by some adults! To play, you take a hard-boiled egg, hold it in your hand (just like you would a cup) and try to break everyone’s successfully without breaking your own by tapping the top of their egg.

This holiday is for close family and friends. Lots of visiting takes place on holidays such as this, and food always plays a role in bringing people together and creating memorable occasions.

Text taken from book The Best of Croatian Cooking