Easter Egg History: Easter is the time when the earth rejuvenates itself. Flowers spring forth from their buds and the earth is full of green joy. Easter was originally adapted by Christians from a Pagan festival (See below). The egg has been a symbol of fertility and rebirth in most of the cultures all over the world. Phoenicians, Persians, Egyptians, and Hindus believed that the earth was born out of an egg. Therefore, the egg has been associated with Easter for eons. In Christianity, the egg also represents the stone of Christ’s tomb.
The Easter egg rolling game symbolizes resurrection of the Christ. The Easter egg history is a very interesting one. Here are some impressive facts from Easter egg history:
- The account books of England’s Edward I shows that 450 colored and gold-leafed Easter eggs were sent as gifts and they cost 18 pence.
- Easter eggs were originally painted in bright colors representing the bright spring sun.
- According to a Polish legend, Virgin Mary gave eggs to the soldiers at the cross and pleaded them not to treat her child harshly. As she wept tear drops rolled down from her cheeks on to the eggs creating bright colored spots.
- At one point in history, colored and etched eggs were exchanged among lovers as a token of their love for each other, just like Valentine’s Day gifts.
- Greeks paint Easter eggs crimson red in memory of the blood shed by Jesus Christ.
- A book which was written five hundred years ago has given us the first written record of an Easter egg.
- In certain parts of Germany and Austria, green eggs are gifted on Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday.
- A North African tribe that had become Christian long time back used to color their Easter eggs.
Paganism at a glance
Paganism describes a group of contemporary religions based on a reverence for nature. These faiths draw on the traditional religions of indigenous peoples throughout the world.
- Paganism encompasses a diverse community.
- Wiccans, Druids, Shamans, Sacred Ecologists, Odinists and Heathens all make up parts of the Pagan community.
- Some groups concentrate on specific traditions or practices such as ecology, witchcraft, Celtic traditions or certain gods.
- Most Pagans share an ecological vision that comes from the Pagan belief in the organic vitality and spirituality of the natural world.
- Due to persecution and misrepresentation it is necessary to define what Pagans are not as well as what they are. Pagans are not sexual deviants, do not worship the devil, are not evil, do not practice ‘black magic’ and their practices do not involve harming people or animals.
- The Pagan Federation of Great Britain have no precise figures but estimate that the number of Pagans in the British Isles is between 50,000 and 200,000 (2002).