Why Easter Eggs?

Even as a child, Easter Eggs made little sense to me. I mean, I was smart enough to know the Easter bunny didn’t lay eggs.

However silly Easter eggs might have seemed to me, they were a family tradition that I passed on to my kids.

I know that eggs have always been a universal symbol in many religions for more than a thousand years. The egg symbolizes new life, rebirth, and fertility.

The Easter Egg’s origin can be traced to the fertility lore of the Indo-Europeans—our pre-Christian ancestors. The egg was a symbol of spring.

Vernal Equinox, Perfect Time

In Persia, people gave eggs to each other at the vernal equinox. For them, it was like a New Year’s present because that marked the beginning of a new year in their culture.

In Judaism, eggs are a part of the Passover seder plate. For some Christians, the egg symbolizes the tomb from which Christ emerged on Resurrection Day.

Another reason eggs were popular with Christians on Easter was that they were forbidden during the 40 days of Lent. Chickens didn’t know this of course so they kept laying eggs. People collected the eggs and decorated them.

Many religious groups and/or countries have traditions of decorating eggs for Easter. Orthodox Christians stain them red to symbolize the blood of Christ. Intricate designs are created by eastern Europeans. Eggshells are pierced to remove the egg, and the decorated shell is hung from trees and shrubs in Germany.

Every year, the White House lawn is the scene of an egg-rolling party, but in today’s world, plastic eggs filled with treats are often used in egg hunts.

Takeaway Truth

Plastic eggs for hunting are a great improvement because I can remember the bad smell emanating from a neighbor’s yard when hidden hard-boiled eggs went undiscovered. Not a nice smell at all.

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