Why Easter Eggs During Easter?
By: Karen Le
When you think of Easter, what do you think of? Easter eggs? The Easter bunny? Marshmallows and chocolate? Easter head island?
There are many things associated with this holiday. It’s also celebrated widely by people who are religious and even non-religious.
But how did all these things become associated with Easter? Why Easter Eggs?
History of Easter
Easter is a Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
In the bible, Jesus was executed by crucifixion on Good Friday. His body was then taken down from the cross, and buried in a cave. The burial site was blocked with a large stone to ensure that no one would disturb his resting place.
Three days later on the following Sunday, Jesus was seen by many people. His followers realized that God had raised Jesus from the dead. It was a miracle.
This is why Easter is celebrated over three days.
The name of the holiday is actually derived from the name of an ancient pagan goddess Eastre who was the goddess of spring.
Many of the symbols tied to Easter come from Eastre, such as the rabbit or hare.
Easter Egg Origins
So we know where the bunny comes from, but why Easter eggs?
Eggs represent new life and are associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection.
Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that evolved from dying them red to represent joy and in some origin stories, the blood of Christ.
The end of Lent is marked by Easter and during Lent, eating eggs was forbidden. As a result, eggs would be brought to the church to celebrate the end of Lent and the beginning of Easter.
Overtime, Easter eggs were decorated with different colours and patterns as gifts for children rather than the church.
The idea of a bunny going around to hide Easter eggs stems from a German myth. When immigrants settled in North America, they brought along their tradition of an egg-laying hare.
Rabbits are also prolific procreators and are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life.
There may be other reasons for why Easter eggs are used to celebrate Easter, but these are the most well-known!
Eggs in Other Cultures
Eggs in other cultures also represent rebirth and new life. In China, there is a tradition of red eggs.
Red in Chinese culture represents good luck and happiness while the roundness of the eggs means harmony, unity and new life.
Chinese red eggs are given during birthdays, weddings and other celebrations. They are most commonly made for a baby’s first month and first birthday celebration.
During the celebration of a baby’s first month, families will dye regular chicken eggs in red dye. Making an even number to show that the baby is a boy and odd for a girl.
As a guest, eating a red egg is said to bring you luck!
How to Make Lucky Red Eggs
If you’re making Easter eggs with the kids this year, dye some red ones, discuss what they mean and wish each other a happy and prosperous new spring season!
Here are the supplies you will need to make Chinese lucky red eggs.
- 6 hard-boiled eggs
- Red food colouring
- 1 tsp vinegar (helps the colour set)
- 1/2 cup hot water (you can use the water you boiled the eggs in)
- Egg carton or drying rack
- Hard boil your eggs and let them set/cool for approx 5 min.
- In a bowl large enough to fit your eggs, fill it ½ cup of water and add the vinegar and salt into and mix well. Make sure to use a glass bowl and utensils to prevent staining.
- Add 30 drops of red food colouring into the mixture. Add more drops for deeper red colour or less for a more pink colour. Mix well.
- Using a spoon, gently place 1-2 eggs at a time in the colour mixture. Turn the eggs over to coat the entire thing in the colour. You can also spoon the colour mixture over the eggs for added coating.
- Remove the eggs with the spoon and place them back into the carton or on a drying rack to dry. If you are using a drying rack, place a plate covered in a paper towel under the rack to catch any run-off colouring.
If you’re having trouble, check out this video on how to dye the eggs! You can also try going to your local Asian grocery store to buy the pre-dyed eggs.
Happy Easter! I hope this article gave you some ideas for Easter and answered the question of “why Easter eggs?”