Easter Eggs! The wonder of Easter!
Easter is fast approaching and Christian homes everywhere is preparing for the celebration and breaking of their lent. For me, Easter always brings back joyful memories of a sumptuous spread and the wonder of easter, Easter eggs.
When was the Easter egg born?
In the pre-Christian era, egg was the symbol of spring. This association was made by our ancestors because of the awe and surprise they had for the seemingly inanimate object from which life emerged.
Later on with the rise of Christianity, the egg became the symbol for the rock tomb where Jesus was resurrected. Another version says that Mary of Magadalene went to the Roman emperor with a red egg after Christ was ressurrected. She used the red egg to symbolise the blood shed by Jesus, and preached to the Roman Emperor about Christ.
The popularity of Easter eggs grew with Christianity and over the years Easter eggs have been painted and either eaten or given as gifts during Easter.
Customs and Games associated with Easter Eggs
Many customs and games revolve around the Easter egg, one of them being the Egg Hunting game . Different versions of the same game is played all around the world. In Germany, parents or elders hide nests filled with candies and colored Easter eggs from children. When the children find them, they are told that the Easter bunny laid the Easter eggs and left the candies for them.
Another Easter egg game that is popular is the Egg Pecking game. It is known by different names all around the world and it involves rolling the Easter egg down a slope or a lawn. The Easter egg that remains intact, without a single crack becomes the winner.
Egg pecking and egg hunting are both important events at the Annual Egg-Rolling Party that occurs every Easter at the White House, Washington.
The Colors of Easter Eggs
Though Easter eggs are traditionally colored with vegetable dyes, the methods used vary with country and so does the color. Often, a brilliant palette of colors are used. The Chaldeans, Syrians and Greeks color their Easter eggs crimson in honor of the blood of Christ.
In Germany, only green Easter eggs are used on Maundy Thursday, but for Easter Sunday the eggs can be of any color. Easter egg with patterns of gold and silver are unique to the Slavic people, while beautiful fern and plant patterns are often seen on Easter eggs from Austria.
The Armenians get even more artistic with their Easter eggs. They design it with pictures of the risen Christ, the blessed virgin and other religious depictions.
The most beautiful Easter eggs hail from Poland and Ukrania. The plain colored ones with simple designs are called Karasanki, but it is the Pysanki eggs that are the most famous. Each Easter egg is made painstakingly such that no two Pysanki eggs are similar. I will soon write more about this wonder of Easter as it deserves a lot more attention.
Pysanki Eggs from Poland
Easter, the celebration of the ressurrection of Christ is somehow never complete without the Easter Eggs. Blasphemy or not, that is the plain truth!