The Ostara Sabbat marks the end of the dark half of the year. In the Anglo-Saxon calendar, Eostremonath was named after Eostre (Ostara in Old High German). Eostre is maiden goddess of dawn and the spring. At the equinox a feast is celebrated in her honor, replete with offerings of colored eggs. Exchanging eggs was thought to ensure abundant crops in the coming autumn and Saxons exchanged colored eggs as a talisman representing new life. The eggs were consumed in Eostre’s honor.
A favorite way to celebrate the holiday is by dying eggs. If you feel adventurous, skip the dye kits available at the grocery store and use vegetable dyes. It’s a fun way to connect with our ancestors and lets kids of all ages feel like a potion master in their own kitchen!
What You Need
- hard-boiled eggs
- mason jars
- measuring cups and spoons
- small kitchen tongs
- distilled white vinegar
- yellow onions skins
- grape juice
- red cabbage
- 2 cans of pickled beets
I suggest putting your mason jars on a baking sheet to prevent spillage since the grape juice and turmeric dyes might stain your countertops, forcing you to bleach the stains out later.
Yellow: add 1 tablespoon of turmeric, 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar to a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and pour into jar. Add eggs and let soak for 15 min.
Goldenrod: add 1 tablespoon of turmeric, 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar to a saucepan. Boil eggs in turmeric solution, 30 minutes.
Orange: add the skin of 6 yellow onions, 2 cups water, 1 tsp of paprika, and 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar to a saucepan. Boil for 15 minutes then strain and pour into jar. Soak eggs for 10 to 15 min or until desired color is obtained.
Lavender: place 1 cup of grape juice and 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour into jar. Add eggs and let soak for 15 to 30 min. until desired color is attained.
Blue: place 2 cups of chopped red cabbage, 2 cups of water, and 3 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar in a saucepan and boil 30 min. Remove from heat and strain liquid into a jar. For light blue eggs soak in room-temperature cabbage solution, 30 minutes. For dark blue soak eggs in room-temperature cabbage solution, overnight.
Pink: place 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar in a saucepan. Drain juice from two cans of pickled beets. (Reserve beets for another use.) Bring juice & vinegar to a boil. Remove from heat and pour into jar. Add hard-boiled eggs and let stand about 30 min.
*You can also dye peeled hard-boiled eggs in beet juice, to add a splash of color to spinach salads.
Find more information on Eostre and some delectable cookie recipes in this post: Ostara: Eggs and Bunnies