If you’re like me, you have probably wondered at least once in your life: why eggs? Or maybe you haven’t even truly thought about it before. Maybe you know the history of Easter Eggs, and if that’s the case, good for you! But if you don’t, that’s why I’m here, to enlighten you.
The idea of painting or dying eggs has always fascinated me when it came to the Easter holiday. It never really made sense to me, like why is there a giant bunny bringing colorful eggs to my house? Why am I hunting for eggs in the back yard? Why am I dying them such bright colors? So believe it or not, after years of just simply wondering, I finally decided to do some research which I am going to share with you all today. Now, a bit of a disclaimer before I start: all of this information was found online and compiled from different websites. I try my best to get the most accurate information and I do not wish to give false information. Should I state something incorrect, feel free to correct me (kindly) in the comments. Now let’s dive, or should I say hop (I need to stop with the lame jokes I know), on in!
In order to fully understand the concept of the Easter Egg, we actually have to go back to a time that pre-dates Christian beliefs and Jesus’ resurrection from the tomb. It is actually believed that the idea of eggs being a symbol of springtime festivities is actually Pagan based (like many Christian holidays and traditions).
In Pagan tradition, the Spring Equinox and springtime in general is a time of rebirth. Nature comes out of it’s winter slumber and begins anew. With the idea of rebirth also comes the idea of fertility.
In various old European religions, many worshiped a Spring Goddess that would bring forth the rebirth and fertility of both the land and all living things. To many the egg was the perfect symbol of fertility. It proved that life was renewing itself. Thus the idea of eggs and spring slowly started to connect more in it’s deeper symbolic meaning.
When Christianity swept throughout, the egg in some eyes became the symbol of Jesus’ resurrection. The outer shell was seem as the tomb and once broken, it signified Jesus’ return. It soon became a symbol in some branches of Christianity to even dye eggs red to signify his blood, thus the dying eggs tradition slowly began as well. Lastly, some branches of Christianity also forbade followers from consuming eggs during lent, and Easter was the first day where eggs were welcomed back into their diet (huffpost.com).
Although Easter slowly started to overshadow the overall celebration of the Spring Equinox in many regions, it still kept many ancient traditions alive. Eggs are just one of the symbolic traditions that still lives on to this day. Except today we know them as pastel-dyed holiday activities or things you hunt for in your backyard, the true history behind them goes much deeper than what many would expect.