BY STAFF REPORTER
CATHOLIC POLAND HAS run out of eggs for Easter, thanks to the European Union.
Every year Polish children paint eggs in bright colours to celebrate Easter, but this year the foodstuff is in short supply, according to local priests who organise Easter festivities.
New EU rules on keeping farm animals mean that thousands of Poles have given up keeping chickens as well as other animals, so there is now an unprecedented shortage of eggs and other foods for traditional Easter celebrations in rural areas. Piotr Galezia, whose small farm has been run by his family for centuries, was forced to sell his only cow.
He said: "It doesn't pay to sell milk any more, and the animals are too much work. I've got a second job as a postman now instead."
Easter eggs have special significance in Poland, a country with a huge Catholic majority.
Known as called Pisanki (meaning "written eggs"), they are dyed or decorated with Christian symbols, such as the Lamb of God with the banner of the Resurrection, or Baranek.
The eggs are presented in parishes on the morning of Holy Saturday and blessed.
On Easter Sunday, they are shared among the family at the lunch table.
The Pisanki tradition has pagan roots, but was absorbed into Catholic life in the Middle Ages.