Did you know that the Easter egg is a symbol of Christianity?
The Christian custom of Easter eggs, started among the early Christians of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs with red coloring “in memory of the blood of Christ, shed at His crucifixion“. According to sociologists, in addition to staining the eggs red, they also stained Easter eggs green and yellow.
In the Orthodox churches, Easter eggs are blessed by the priest at the end of the Paschal Vigil (which is equivalent to Holy Saturday) and distributed to the faithful. The egg is seen by followers of Christianity as a symbol of resurrection: while being dormant, it contains a new life sealed within it.
Historically, it was traditional to use up all of the household’s eggs before Lent began. In Western Christianity, eggs were originally forbidden during Lent, as well as on other traditional fast days.
During Lent, since chickens would not stop laying eggs, a larger than usual store would be available at the end of the fast. This surplus had to be eaten quickly to prevent spoiling. One would have been forced to hard boil the eggs, so as not to waste food. Then, with the coming of Easter, the eating of eggs resumed.
In some traditions, the Pascal greeting with the Easter egg is even extended to the deceased. On either the second Monday or Tuesday of Pascha, after a memorial service people bring blessed eggs to the cemetery, and bring the joyous paschal greeting, “Christ has risen”, to their beloved departed.
Celebrations with Easter eggs are now more secular than sacred, but as we eat our Easter eggs this year, let us remember Christ and the meaning His resurrection has for us.