It is that time again Easter is here, but not everyone knows the truth about the Easter egg. It is believed that the Easter egg has been around since the 13th century. Every country has their own tradition and America adopted many of those said traditions. For instance, the story of the Easter bunny was said to have been brought over from Germany. A tale about a hare who laid eggs. It really is unclear when the hare came into play, but many believe it was started by Pagans. They believed that these animals represented fertility, which line up with their belief of Ostera. The Germans that settled into Pennsylvania in the 1700’s called this holiday Osterhase, which eventually spread across the U.S. and is a tradition today. The Children would leave out carrots for the bunny in case they became hungry. The bunny would leave behind colorful eggs, woven baskets, gifts, and of course candy of all kinds.
Also, egg rolling was brought to the U.S. in 1878 by President Hayes in the first official White House egg roll. This was brought over from England, though most of Europe is known for this tradition as well. Christians were also known to dye the eggs blood-red to remember Jesus’ blood sacrifice. It was also said that Christians could not eat eggs during Lent, but since the chickens kept on laying those eggs, they boiled and decorated them. They would have a feast in honor of making it through all that fasting. They also believed it represented the lifeless stone where Jesus was buried. They even go as far to believe that when an egg hatches it represents the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians did not start the egg decorating as decorated eggs were found in Africa that were estimated to be over sixty-thousand years old. In another country they found decorated eggs that were over 2,500 years old.
The truth is Easter Egg decoration as been around for a long time. No one really knows where it began or how, but most tend to go by their own country’s history. In Russian the most famous is the Faberge Imperial Easter eggs. These are not real eggs, but jeweled art that is shaped into eggs. The Czars commissioned these beautiful pieces of art. In Kolomyia a city in the Ukraine they take their eggs so seriously, that they have a museum with over ten-thousand decorated eggs. In the Eastern part of the world the Persians, Egyptians, and Hindus believe the world started as a giant egg and so every spring to represent life they decorate eggs. The french have egg tossing contests every year and the Italian have chocolate eggs with prizes inside of them. In Australia they trade eggs and Bulgarians throw red eggs towards their families house to keep evil at bay.
So as one can see every country as their own unique tradition. Even in the Southern States of the U.S. they have a tradition of decoration their trees with eggs for luck and prosperity. Even if we don’t know how the real truth of Easter Egg decorating started as a whole everyone knows it is a time of celebration with family, friends, and neighbors.
Commentary by Heather Tillman