We dye them, we hide them, we hunt for them, and we make them out of chocolate. But how much do you really know about Easter eggs and the tradition behind them? These Easter egg fun facts will both help explain the traditions and impress your family and friends.
What ancient cultures dyed eggs to mark the arrival of spring?
The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and the Zoroastrians in Persian dyed eggs to celebrate spring. The ancient Chinese presented colored eggs to newborns, a tradition that still continues.
Historians believe people have eggs for thousands of years to celebrate the spring equinox, which was often around the start of the new year prior to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar. Christians missionaries adopted the existing pagan celebrations and began using eggs as a symbol of new life and resurrection and to represent Jesus’s emergence from the tomb. Many cultures still decorate eggs to mark the start of spring and new life.
How did eggs become associated with Easter meals?
In Medieval Europe, the Church forbid the consumption of eggs during Lent. Eggs laid during the 40 day period of Lent were preserved by boiling or other methods. They had a lot of eggs, so they were consumed on Easter.
The first story of a rabbit (later named the “Easter Bunny”) hiding eggs in a garden was published in 1680. German settlers to Pennsylvania in the 1700’s brought the tradition of the Easter hare with them to the U.S. That morphed into the Easter bunny, who dyed eggs for children who were good.
What natural materials can be used to dye eggs?
Items such as onion peels, tree bark, flower petals, and juices.
The red color represents the blood of Christ shed at his crucifixion.
How many stunning jeweled eggs did Fabergé create for the Russian Imperial family from 1885 through to 1916? How many survive today?
Faberge made 50 eggs and its website says 42 survive. That figure does not number include the Faberge egg recently purchased by a Midwestern man at jumble sale. He discovered it was one of the missing eggs and it will be displayed from April 14-17 in London, according to CNN. Source and Image from Faberge.com
Perhaps the most popular American Easter egg tradition is the White House Easter Egg Roll. What year was it first held?
President Rutherford B. Hayes and First Lady Lucy Hayes hosted the first White House Egg Roll in 1878 after Congress passed a law in 1877 banning an Easter Egg Roll at the Capitol.
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