Welcome to the first Easter egg museum in Germany
The main question conserns the relationsship between Easter and the egg.
1. Very early after the death of Christ, The church fathers theorised about the parallel between the egg and the death of Christ; the egg appears like Christ dead in his grave and the resurrection similar to the birth of the chick.
2. During the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter the eating of certain foods, like meat and eggs was forbidden, however in the springtime is a very producitve season for the hens. Before people paid taxes to the church or monastery or other landowners with money, natural products such as animals and eggs were offered. The usual day to pay was called Maundy Thursday and the farmers used eggs as a payment.
3. Maundy thursday was also the day when people gave alms to the poor. The eggs were white and without decoration.
When money was used for the payment of taxes the quantity of eggs required was reduced and so they began to be decorated and used as gifts to their godchildren.
Natural colours such as onion peel were used for the decoration so that the eggs could still be eaten. In later times the eggs became status symbols like works of art and artists used chemical colours so that the decoration was long lasting.
The museum is situated in the old Erpfinger school house which originates form the 19.th century. The museum is open from March to the beginning of November and closes for the winter. The collection was originally started by a few ladies from Sonnenbühl-Erpfingen in 1980 and the museum formed in 1993. Today the collection still continues to grow.
The floor is home to various exhibitions, the theme is changed yearly.
In the exhibition you will find a lot of natural eggs from Finches to Ostriches. Normally we show eggs from hens and geeses. Over 1000 eggs are exhibited from many different artists and countries with over 40 different decorating techniques.
The custom to decorate eggs sterns mainly from Catholic areas. Traditional eggs were mainly produced in Eastern Europe such as Hungary where the farmers would use cheap objects such as little pearls, reeds, paper of vegetable colourings for the decorations.
The egg mythology occurs all over the world. In nearly every country there are tales about the beginning of the earth where the egg plays a major part in the imagination, for exemple, breaking and dividing into the earth and the haven.
We hope you will enjoy your visit.
Erpfingen is a beautiful village on the Swabian Alb.