Easter marks the resurrection or return of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion. It is a time filled with positivity and hopes as it celebrates new beginnings – the end of the long and cold winter months and the start of the warm spring season. Food was scarce during the winter months and even eggs and other basic dietary necessities were few and far between. Therefore, eggs occupy the centre of attention during this celebration. It is also the culmination of the month-long fasting season of Lent and, hence, Christians indulge in delicious food, fun, joy, and merriment.
Let’s take a look at the origin of Easter, its popular themes, Easter egg story, and fun activities that people indulge in during this time of the year.
Easter Egg Significance & Origin
The history of painting hard-boiled eggs dates back to before Christianity came into being. Easter eggs are symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches are dyed red as a mark of respect for the blood that Christ had shed during the crucifixion. At the end of the Paschal vigil, the priest blesses the eggs and then distributes them to the people who’ve gathered in the church. Easter egg significance of hard shell stands for the sealed Tomb of Christ, while the cracking of the shell implies the resurrection of Christ. Easter eggs meaning varies among different countries and cultures across the globe.
2 Symbols Of Easter Eggs That Are An Integral Part Of The Celebrations
Egg and rabbit are the two symbols that are integral to Easter. But why is that? Let’s find out here.
1. The Eggs
The modern-day rabbit traces its origin to the 17th-century folkloric Osterhase, a hare that laid eggs. So, contrary to what you may have believed until now, Easter eggs meaning goes beyond hens and is related to rabbits.
Prized Possession After Winter
A North African tribe that had embraced Christianity early on had the tradition of colouring eggs during the beginning of spring. Lean winters meant a lack of nutritious food and a fresh egg during Easter was a prized possession. Research by historians revealed that an expenditure of 18 pence for 450 eggs was issued and it was notified that these eggs be wrapped in gold leaf and coloured in bright hues.
Early on, Christians abstained from meat and eggs during the month of Lent, which culminated with Easter. Hence, consuming eggs during this time of the year held great significance for them. However, Eastern eggs hold no meaning during celebrations in South American, Mexican, and Native American Indian cultures.
2. The Rabbit
The symbol of the rabbit during Easter is closely associated with its historical significance as a symbol of fertility. Easter is celebrated in spring, which is a time for new beginnings after the long, cold winter months.
6 Traditions Involving Easter Eggs
We bet you’ve heard of painting on eggs during Easter. But there is so much more to the festivities than that, although the traditions vary in different parts of the world. Here are some traditions popular during Easter.
1. Egg Painting
Easter celebrations remain incomplete without Easter egg decorations. Easter egg traditions go back to ancient times, although ostrich eggs were used instead of chicken eggs in those days. Mesopotamians were the first among Christians to adopt this tradition. They coloured the eggs red, which signified Jesus’s blood.
2. Egg Hunts
This fun activity involves hiding eggs outside the house, so children can launch an Easter egg hunt on the day. It is a source of great joy, excitement, and merriment for children as they run about and enjoys the Easter egg hunt. For creating designs, they would hold leaves or flowers, or onion skins over the egg shells and then coloured the eggs over them. Eastern European countries, on the other hand, use wax-resistant batik, followed by writing with beeswax, to create interesting patterns. The activity varies among countries. For instance, in the Scandinavian region, the Easter Bunny hides chocolate eggs for children to search for them on Easter.
3. Egg Rolling
This is a symbolic representation of the rolling away of the stone on the tomb of Jesus Christ. The significance of this activity is such that the White House organises an annual event on its lawns on the Monday after Easter. However, the rules of the tradition vary between countries. In the United States, children push the eggs with a wooden spoon, while in Germany, kids push their eggs down a track made of sticks.
4. Easter Egg Trees
Painting the small branches of bare trees has become an increasingly popular custom in recent years, since the 1990s, emerging as an important idea for Easter egg decorations.
5. Pace Egging
Children in some European countries go begging for Easter eggs, much like Halloween trick-or-treats. Known as Pace Egging, this is derived from the archaic word for Easter, Pasch.
6. Other Symbolisms
Apart from bunnies and Easter eggs meaning, lily flowers and baby chicks are an integral part of the celebrations because they signify rebirth.
3 Easter Egg Activities Popular During This Time
1. Face Painting
Egg painting is one of the most popular traditions on this day. So, smearing the faces of loved ones, especially children, with a splash of colours is one of the most favoured activities. Traditional motifs like leaves and flowers or modern patterns are common.
2. Dressing Up As Easter Bunny
Apart from eggs, Easter is all about bunnies. So, adults dress up as bunnies and entertain the kids through mimicry and interactive games.
3. Balloon Twisters
Children cannot have enough balloons and, hence, a balloon twister is one of the best ideas for organising a fun time for them. Keeping in line with the theme of the celebrations, the balloons can be shaped in the form of eggs and bunnies, serving as an interesting prop for the day along with Easter egg decorations.
Easter is a time for good food, fun, and enjoyment to mark the end of the lean and mean winter months, and the beginning of spring. So, the day is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervour. Indulge in Easter egg activities and usher in the celebrations with energy and positivity, Happy Easter y’all!
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