An inventive Greek tech company has launched a fun and innovative mobile app to enable the traditional Easter egg cracking custom to take place virtually, under the current lockdown conditions that keep families and friends apart.
“You can still join an egg cracking competition this Easter, even from a distance,” the app description reads.
The Tsougkra-To app, as it is named, after the Greek term “tsougrisma”, calls on Greeks anywhere in the world to challenge anyone they want, wherever they might be, to crack their virtual eggs together.
Easter egg cracking in the digital era
Created by Appakia, an Athens-based apps development company, Tsougkra-to is offered by Google Commerce Ltd and available for free download on mobile devices.
“One of the things we (Greeks) anticipate every Easter — besides the crispy skin on the meat or the mouthwatering tweaked mageiritsa soup with mushrooms for vegetarians — is the egg cracking”, the Appakia team say in an announcement.
“It’s a custom of love and creativity and — oh, well — who hasn’t argued about it or dedicated time to find the most durable egg which will defeat all… Or even tried to cheat using fake eggs”, it continues, in true Greek Easter spirit.
“This new free application for Easter is dedicated mainly to those who stayed away from family and friends because of the coronavirus pandemic restrictions, but also to all Greeks abroad as they are usually away from their loved ones too.”
The app allows players to choose the person they want to challenge, and also pick a color for their Easter egg before the egg cracking game can begin.
Symbolism of the Easter egg cracking custom
Traced back to the early Christians of Mesopotamia, the custom of painting eggs red — in memory of the blood of Christ shed at His crucifixion — spread into Greece, Eastern Europe and Siberia through the Orthodox Churches, and later into Europe through the Catholic and Protestant Churches.
The egg in itself serves as an emblem of the resurrection, and its decorated Easter variations are today globally recognized as a symbol of the most special day on the Christian calendar — the event that sealed the promise for eternal life.
For the Greeks, the egg cracking, known as tsougrisma, starts on the night after the Resurrection Service and continues the next day at the Greek Easter feast.
The red painted eggs are tapped against each other and cracked together between two persons as they exchange the traditional Easter greeting “Christos anesti!” (“Christ has risen”) – “Alithos anesti!” (“He Truly has risen”).