The term ‘Easter’ has its roots in the pagan cultures which stand for ancient polytheistic religions. Original Christian scriptures never mentioned the term ‘Easter’ neither was it ever associated with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection is a very recent phenomenon in the history of Christianity. Eggs have stood as a symbol of fertility for ages unknown. If we try to trace the Easter egg origin then we will find that it even had significance in the Roman spring festivals and feasts.
Salted hardboiled eggs have existed even in Jewish traditions. Even the word ‘Easter’ is derived from the name of an Anglo-Saxon Goddess by the name of ‘Eastre’. In ancient times, vernal equinox was the time to honor Eastre, the Goddess of Spring.
About the origin of the Easter egg in Christianity, it is said that Mary Magdalene went to the court of the Roman Emperor with a red egg after Christ had risen from his grave. She gave him the red egg, the red color of which stood for the blood shed by the Christ for the redemption of the world. Mary Magdalene told him that Christ has risen, and preached Christianity to him. Thus, the egg came to represent the resurrection of the Christ.
Many people who celebrate Easter are not aware of the Easter egg origin. According to ancient Babylonian legends, a huge egg fell into the Euphrates River from heaven and Goddess Astarte or Easter came out of it. So the egg became a symbol of the Goddess and a sacred symbol in the Babylonian civilization. There are innumerous interesting stories about the Easter egg origin. One just has to be curious enough to find them out!
Easter is the time when the earth rejuvenates itself. Flowers spring forth from their buds and the earth is full of green joy. The egg has been a symbol of fertility and rebirth in most of the cultures all over the world. Phoenicians, Persians, Egyptians, and Hindus believed that the earth was born out of an egg. Therefore, the egg has been associated with Easter for eons. In Christianity, the egg also represents the stone of Christ’s tomb.
The Easter egg rolling game symbolizes resurrection of the Christ. The Easter egg history is a very interesting one. Here are some impressive facts from Easter egg history –
- The account books of England’s Edward I shows that 450 colored gold-leafed Easter eggs were sent as gifts and they cost 18 pence.
- Easter eggs were originally painted in bright colors representing the bright spring sun.
- According to a Polish legend, Virgin Mary gave eggs to the soldiers at the cross and pleaded them not to treat her child harshly. As she wept tear drops rolled down from her cheeks on to the eggs creating bright colored spots.
- At one point in history, colored and etched eggs were exchanged among lovers as a to ken of their love for each other, just like Valentine’s Day gifts.
- Greeks paint Easter eggs crimson red in memory of the blood shed by Jesus Christ.
- A book which was written five hundred years ago has given us the first written record of an Easter egg.
- In certain parts of Germany and Austria, green eggs are gifted on Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday.
- A North African tribe that had become Christian long time back used to color their Easter eggs.
Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!