Today is Easter Sunday, and we hope it is a special day for you and your family to be together. One of our favorite traditions for the Easter weekend is seeing children and grandchildren light up with excitement at the prospect of dyeing and decorating Easter eggs, and then the festive egg hunts and the joy it brings to them!
We started wondering where this specific tradition comes from. Although many of our holidays, including Easter, have religious roots, many secular traditions have sprang forth and been incorporated into the holiday. For example, where did the traditions that involve the colorful Easter eggs come from?
The egg is often seen as a symbol of new life, rebirth and fertility, and has been celebrated as such for thousands of years. In fact, Iranians have decorated eggs on their New Year even before the time of Christ. Interestingly, the Iranian New Year falls on the spring equinox, and there is no other time of the year that is more symbolic of rebirth and life than that of springtime, when the plants, flowers and a number of animals spring back into life after a dormant winter.
In Christian faiths, the Easter egg is generally understood to represent the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches the eggs are dyed red to represent Christ’s blood that was shed on the cross. The hard shell of the egg represents the sealed tomb of Christ. When the egg is cracked and the contents released, it represents Christ’s resurrection from the dead, leaving the tomb and coming forth reborn. At the end of Paschal vigil, the priest blesses the Easter eggs and they are distributed to the congregation. Historically, Christians abstained from eating meat and eggs during Lent, making Easter the first opportunity to eat eggs and meet after 40 days of abstaining.
Whatever faith or symbolism the Easter holiday holds for you, we hope you have a wonderful day with your loved ones! Enjoy these moments, for they pass by quickly.