THANNHAUSEN, Germany – A plant in southern Germany has been working flat out to dye hundreds of thousands of white chicken eggs six colors every day in the lead up to Easter.
Baham egg coloring plant in Thannhausen has been a family business since 1953. It started off dyeing eggs by hand and since the 1960s has been undertaking the process of dyeing eggs using machinery.
During the plant’s “high season,” that is, in the lead up to the Christian holiday of Easter, some 250,000 eggs are transformed from white to pink, purple, orange, blue, green or yellow.
The factory dyes eggs that it sells onto customers and on behalf of farmers around the areas of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Austria and South Tyrol.
From October, the plant makes snack eggs, which come in three colors.
The process sees the eggs being cooked for 14 minutes. Any eggs that have become damaged after this step are removed by workers at the factory.
Once the good eggs are ready for dyeing, they are passed over paint rollers that apply food coloring to the shells, before moving onto a drying cabinet for some 20 minutes.
At this point, employees carry out another check to identify any parts of shell that were missed by the rolling and dyeing process. Again, if any eggs were broken they are discarded.
The plant is open to visitors and customers regularly come to observe the production line from special platforms set up for that purpose and with view over the entire factory.
Among those who come to see the process were groups of school children.
Eggs are typically gifted between family members and friends around Easter time.
Painting eggs, Easter egg hunts and even Easter egg rolling have become integral to the seasonal celebrations.
In Christian tradition the egg symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ in biblical times following his crucifixion at the hands of Roman soldiers.
But the tradition of decorating hard-boiled eggs when it’s springtime came before Christianity. In many cultures around the world, the egg is a symbol of new life, fertility and rebirth.
Beside real chicken eggs, many people give chocolate eggs.
Easter Sunday falls on April 21 this year.