It’s Good Friday, the Friday before Easter so I was thinking, when did the Easter egg tradition start? Easter Sunday is just 2 days away now so why not take a peek at the celebration and traditions that follow.
The Easter egg tradition originated between the early Christians of Mesopotamia who dyed their eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ shed at his crucifixion. Then the Christian Church officially adopted the tradition about the eggs as a symbol of the resurrection in 1610 AD. The decorating them part dates back to at least the 13th Century.
A prayer by Pope Paul V was announced following
Bless, O Lord! We beseech thee, this thy creature of eggs, that it may become a wholesome sustenance to thy faithful servants, eating it in thankfulness to thee on account of the resurrection of the Lord.
The tradition to use eggs began because of Lent, during lent Christians are forbidden to eat meat and dairy, eggs are seen as dairy, so the tradition began us use up all eggs before Lent began. This is also how Shrove Tuesday began, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, a tradition of Pancake Day, eggs are a main ingredient in pancakes so it became a way to use them and eat as many pancakes as possible before Lent began. This is also how the beginning of Mardi Gras began, the French phrase for “Fat Tuesday”, this marked the last day a Christian was allowed to eat eggs before Lent began.
Easter morning, there are lots of ways the eggs are used on Easter morning, one common one being Easter egg hunts. This was originally done using the hard boiled eggs children decorated but is now also done with plastic eggs filled with candies. Another tradition used by many cultures is egg tapping, the winner is the one whose egg did not break on either side even when it tapped everyone else’s egg. There is also an egg dance/egg hop, this is where eggs are laid on the ground and the goal is to dance around them without damaging any eggs.
Let’s not forget the Easter egg roll, a tradition that is held annually the Monday after Easter at the White House. This is a race where children push decorated hard-boiled eggs across the White House lawn, the first official White House egg roll was in 1878, but this is just for fun, no religious meaning at all.
The egg is an ancient symbol of new life, and with that said have a wonderful Easter everyone!!