A small Slavic minority in eastern Germany is keeping alive a long, intricate tradition of hand-painted Easter eggs that’s been passed down by Sorbian families for generations.

At an Easter egg market in Elsterheide near the Saxon town of Hoyerswerda, around two dozen egg painters showed off their trade on Sunday.

Werner Zaroba said he learned the craft from his grandparents, remembering how as a child on Good Friday, “we would paint the eggs to give them to our godparents as an Easter present.”

Werner Zaroba decorates an Easter egg at a traditional Easter Market of Germany's Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese, near the city of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Werner Zaroba decorates an Easter egg at a traditional Easter Market of Germany’s Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese, near the city of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Decades later, the elderly man sticks to the tradition. He dips the eggs into a color bath, then using fine knives he scratches delicate patterns on the surface of the eggshell.

Zaroba says it takes him up to seven hours to decorate one egg alone.

Children are dressed in traditional Sorb clothes perform at an Easter Market of Germany's Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese, near the city of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Children are dressed in traditional Sorb clothes perform at an Easter Market of Germany’s Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese, near the city of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Easter eggs present at a traditional Easter Market of Germany's Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese, near the city of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Easter eggs present at a traditional Easter Market of Germany’s Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese, near the city of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Children are dressed in traditional Sorb clothes perform at an Easter Market of Germany's Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese, near the city of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Children are dressed in traditional Sorb clothes perform at an Easter Market of Germany’s Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese, near the city of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Werner Zaroba presents an Easter egg to the photographer at a traditional Easter Market of Germany's Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese, near the city of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Werner Zaroba presents an Easter egg to the photographer at a traditional Easter Market of Germany’s Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese, near the city of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Thirteen years old Emelie Kaspar, center, decorates an Easter egg at a traditional Easter Market of Germany's Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese, near the city of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Thirteen years old Emelie Kaspar, center, decorates an Easter egg at a traditional Easter Market of Germany’s Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese, near the city of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
A girl pauses as she decorates Easter eggs at a traditional Easter Market of Germany's Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese, near the city of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
A girl pauses as she decorates Easter eggs at a traditional Easter Market of Germany’s Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese, near the city of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
A wax work station for decorating Easter egg stands at a table at a traditional Easter Market of Germany's Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese, near the city of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
A wax work station for decorating Easter egg stands at a table at a traditional Easter Market of Germany’s Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese, near the city of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
A woman decorates an Easter egg with wax at a traditional Easter Market of Germany's Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese, near the city of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
A woman decorates an Easter egg with wax at a traditional Easter Market of Germany’s Sorb minority in the village Neuwiese, near the city of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
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