Easter Eggs Origin & History – The origin of Easter Eggs signifies as an ancient symbol of new life and over the years has been associated with the festival of pagan celebrating spring. From a perspective of Christians, Easter Eggs were used to represent Lord Jesus Christ’s emergence from the tomb and the resurrection.
Easter Eggs Traditions and Symbolism
The religious tradition is that the symbolic figure Easter Bunny leaves Easter Eggs on Easter Sunday. The idea of an egg-laying rabbit was recorded to America by the German immigrants in the 1700s. Besides their religious significance, the decoration of Easter Eggs is strongly believed to date back to the 13th century. The coloring of Easter Eggs is an established art and they are often dyed, painted or decorated which is used as gifts to near and dear ones.
Easter Egg Hunts and Easter egg rolling are two famous egg-related traditions. In the USA, the White House Easter egg roll is a most popular race that occurred in 1878, where kids push decorated and hard-boiled eggs across the White House lawn, during the annual event held on the Monday after Easter eve.
Decorative Easter eggs – usually made of chocolate – are so much a part of our modern Western Easter celebration that we rarely stop to think about them. Why eggs? Where does the custom originate? What do they symbolise?
The egg symbolism is almost certainly related to the origin of spring festivals such as Easter in pagan celebrations of renewal and rebirth. The word “Easter” is thought to derive from the name Eostre (sometimes spelt Oestre), a fertility goddess. What better symbol of fertility and rebirth than an egg?
Decorative Easter Eggs Origin
The origin of decorated Easter eggs is less than clear. It appears that ancient cultures as diverse as the Chinese, the Egyptians and the Romans decorated eggs at springtime. The Chinese custom of giving painted eggs during spring festivals is believed to date back 3000 years.
The ultimate decorated eggs are probably the jewel-encrusted Faberge eggs.
Origin of Easter Egg Rolling
In many parts of the world, it is a tradition to roll hard-boiled eggs down hills, usually on the Easter Monday. In the Christian tradition, this can symbolise the rolling away of the stone from Christ’s tomb.
In many places, egg rolling is an important part of the Easter tradition. Egg rolling events can either be relaxed social affairs or highly competitive events. Eggs are usually hard boiled then marked to indicate the owner – these markings can vary from simple labels to complex and attractive artwork.
Egg rolling was common in Germany, where Eostre originated. The custom was brought to America along with other German traditions such as the Easter bunny.
From a Christian viewpoint, links can be made between the rolling of eggs down a hill and the rolling away of the stone from Christ’s tomb. The Christian Easter story itself clearly fits into the view of spring as a time of rebirth.