This article is about special eggs painted around Easter. Easter eggs, also called Paschal eggs, are decorated eggs that are often given to celebrate Easter or springtime. As such, Easter egg hunt are common during the season of Eastertide (Easter season). The oldest tradition is to use dyed and painted chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs wrapped in colourful foil, or plastic eggs filled with confectionery such as chocolate. Although eggs, in general, were a traditional symbol of fertility and rebirth, in Christianity, for the celebration of Eastertide, Easter eggs symbolize the Empty tomb of Jesus, from which Jesus resurrected In addition, one ancient tradition was the staining of Easter eggs with the colour red “in memory of the blood of Christ, shed as at that time of his crucifixion.” This custom of the Easter eggs can be traced to early Christians of Mesopotamia, and from there it spread into Russia and Siberia through the Orthodox Churches, and later into through Europe through the Catholic and Protestant Churches. This Christian use of Revelations of eggs may have been influenced by practices in “pre-dynastic period in Egypt, as well as amid the early cultures of Mesopotamia and Crete”.
Some remember walking up the sidewalk to church on Easter morning with their family. Mom wore a hat, Dad was in a suit, and the children had on their finest Spring clothes. Others remember searching for Easter eggs and candy, then tearing into an Easter basket brimming with treats.
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Amazing history of Easter eggs
The practice of decorating eggshells as part of spring rituals is ancient, with decorated, engraved Ostrich eggs found in Africa which are 60,000 years old.In the pre-dynastic period of Egypt and the early cultures of Mesopotamia and Crete, eggs were associated with death and rebirth, as well as with kingship, with decorated Easter eggs, and representations of ostrich eggs in gold and silver, were commonly placed in graves of the ancient Sumerians and Egyptians as early as 5,000 years ago. These cultural relationships may have influenced early Christian and Islamic cultures in those areas, as well as through mercantile, religious, and political links from those areas around the Mediterranean
The Christian custom of Easter eggs, specifically, started among the early christians of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs with red colouring “in memory of the blood of Christ, shed at His crucifixion”. The Christian Chruch officially adopted the custom, regarding the eggs as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus, with the Roman Ritual, the first edition of which was published in 1610 but which has texts of much older date, containing among the Easter Blessings of Food, one for eggs, along with those for lamb, bread, and new produce. The blessing is for consumption as a food, rather than decorated.
Sociology professor Kenneth Thompson discusses the spread of the Easter eggs throughout Christendom, writing that “use of eggs at Easter seems to have come from Persia into the Greek Christian Churches of Mesopotamia, thence to Russia and Siberia through the medium of Orthodox Christianity. From the Greek Church the custom was adopted by either the Roman Catholics or the Protestants and then spread through Europe.”Both Thompson, as well as British orientalist Thomas Hyde state that in addition to dying the eggs red, the early Christians of Mesopotamia also stained Easter eggs green and yellow.
However, John W. Martens, a professor at the University Of St.Thomas states that “Bede’s claim has been challenged by recent scholarship, basically because his mention of ‘Eostre’ is the only occurrence from antiquity or the middle ages” and it is possible that “he just got it wrong.”
Although the Christian tradition is to use dyed or painted chicken eggs, a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with candy such as jelly beans These eggs can be hidden for children to find on Easter morning, which may be left by the Easter Bunny. They may also be put in a Basket filled with real or artificial straw to resemble a bird’s nest.
Decoration and symbolism
The Easter eggs tradition may also have merged into the celebration of the end of the privations of Lent in the West. Historically, it was traditional to use up all of the household’s eggs before Lent began. Eggs were originally forbidden during Lent as well as on other traditional fast days in Western Christianity (this tradition still continues among the Easter Christian Chruches). Likewise, in Eastern Christianity, meat, eggs, and dairy are all prohibited during the Lenten fast.
This established the tradition of Pancake celebrated on shrove tuesday. This day, the Tuesday before Ash wednesday when Lent begins, is also known as Mardi Gras a French phrase which translates as “Fat Tuesday” to mark the last consumption of eggs and dairy before Lent begins.
In the Orthodox Church,Great Lent begins on Clean Monday, rather than Wednesday, so the household’s dairy products would be used up in the preceding week, called Cheesefare week.
During Lent, since chickens would not stop producing eggs during this time, a larger than usual store might be available at the end of the fast. This surplus, if any, had to be eaten quickly to prevent spoiling. Then, with the coming of Easter, the eating of eggs resumes. Some families cook a special meatloaf with eggs in it to be eaten with the Easter dinner.
One would have been forced to hard boil the eggs that the chickens produced so as not to waste food, and for this reason the Spanish dish hornazo (traditionally eaten on and around Easter) contains hard-boiled eggs as a primary ingredient. In Hungary, eggs are used sliced in potato casseroles around the Easter period.
An Easter egg is an intentional inside joke, hidden message, or feature in an interactive work such as a computer program, video game or DVD menu screen. The name is used to evoke the idea of a traditional Easter Egg hunt
Atari’s 1979 release Adventure contains the first hidden message in a video game to have been discovered by its players; the message is “Created by Warren Robinett”, and was inserted by Robinett, the game’s programmer. According to Robinett, the term Easter eggs was applied by Atari personnel on being alerted to the secret addition, and making the comparison of players’ discovery of these secrets akin to the traditional Easter eggs hunt.
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