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Do you ever wonder about how this whole coloring Easter eggs thing got started?
As Easter approaches, many of us are or planning Easter festivities and coloring Easter eggs.
In the chaos of the holiday, I started to wonder about the history of the Easter egg and why egg coloring plays such a prominent role in a Christian religious holiday?
Origins of Easter Eggs | History of Easter Eggs
If you look up the origin of Easter eggs and history of the Easter egg, you’ll find two prominent versions: a pagan origin and a Christian definition.
Even though Easter is a Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Christ, some believe the addition of eggs to be a pagan tradition used to celebrate new life.
According to Forbes.com:
“Easter comes from an Old English word referring to the month of April, named after the pagan goddess of the dawn. In other modern languages, Easter is called a variant of Paschal, a word that can refer to either Easter or to Passover, demonstrating the strong link between these two Judeo-Christian celebrations.”
Easter as a Christian Holiday
However, Easter eggs represent the new life of Jesus as He was resurrected from the tomb for Christians.
Easter Bunny Origin | So, Where Did the Easter Bunny Come From Then?
The story goes that German immigrants brought over a tradition of a bunny called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws” that laid color eggs.
In Spring, kids would make colorful nests so that the Easter bunnies could lay the eggs.
Baskets later replaced the nests (probably out of practicality).
Then, the Easter bunny didn’t just leave Easter eggs, but the bunny also delivered chocolate and gifts to children.
That’s how the whole Easter bunny and eggs thing came about.
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Why Do We Spend Time Coloring Easter Eggs?
Christian Easter Eggs
Some Christians dye the eggs red as a representation of the blood of Jesus.
With these “Jesus eggs,” the outer shell represents the tomb where Jesus was buried, which gets “cracked” to symbolize His resurrection.
Spring Easter Bunny Eggs
However, other sources say that it was a common tradition to color eggs as gifts during Spring festivals.
The Christians adopted the tradition of decorating eggs, and expanded it to include the red egg “Jesus eggs.”
According to History.com:
Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.
Some say this is why eggs are still served today as part of an Easter feast on the holiday!
Do you decorate Easter eggs? What is your favorite way to decorate them?