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How to Dye Easter Eggs Red Using Onion Skins

Updated: Mar 21


A white tea towel on a wooden table. On the tea towel are yellow onions and a bowl of red eggs.

The practice of dyeing eggs red for Easter is a longstanding tradition in the Orthodox Christian Church, particularly in Greece and other parts of Eastern Europe. The red egg is rich with symbolism; the red color symbolizes the blood of Jesus Christ, which was shed on the cross for the redemption of humanity and the egg itself symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus.


The red eggs are often prepared on Holy Thursday, the day before Good Friday. The eggs are boiled and then dyed red using natural dyes made from onion skins. The eggs are then placed in baskets of food that are blessed by the priest on Easter Sunday. The red eggs are then consumed as the first food eaten after the people attend the Great Easter Vigil. They are also exchanged as gifts among family members and friends as a symbol of the new life that Jesus' resurrection brings.


If you'd like to know more about the tradition of dyeing eggs red for Easter, click here. I explain the history of the tradition as well as a beautiful legend about Mary Magdalene and how she shared her faith with Emperor Tiberius. I also share a wonderful children's book and a link to some delicious Lindt red chocolate eggs.


Today, I'm sharing how to make red eggs using natural dye. You probably have everything you need in your home. You could use artificial red food coloring but I am sharing the traditional way to dye the eggs. I actually prefer this way because the colors seem more natural.


A white tea towel on a wooden table. On the tea towel are yellow onions and a bowl of red eggs.

How to Naturally Dye Your Eggs Red


Supplies


Eggs (You can use any color. I used white but brown would give you a much deeper red.)

Water

1 Tablespoon of white vinegar per cup of dye

Yellow onion skins (You want to use the dried flaky brown skins of the onion.)

Olive oil -optional


Boil your eggs in water and allow them to cool. Set aside.


A saucepan filled with water and white eggs.

Fill a small pan with onion skins, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.


A saucepan filled with yellow onion skins and water.

Strain the liquid into a cup.


A saucepan full of onion skins and water being poured through a strainer into a measuring cup.

Add 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar to every cup of liquid.


A tablespoon of vinegar being poured into a measuring cup filled with red liquid from the onion skins.

Submerge your cooled egg in the liquid. Allow to sit in the liquid for at least three hours (We let ours sit overnight.).


A white egg being lowered into a measuring cup of red dye.

Remove eggs from the liquid and dry them on paper towels.

A group of wet eggs that have just been dipped in the red dye.

Once dry, you can either leave them as they are or rub them with olive oil and a paper towel so that they have a nice sheen. (I left mine natural.)


I hope this activity is a blessing to you and your family!


Helpful Links:


A basket filled with brown paper shreds and red eggs on a white tea towel.


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