Now, the rest of the story
When I was a young girl, I never thought twice about the beginnings of the humble Easter egg tradition because I was too worried about getting an Easter basket filled with decorated eggs, candy, and chocolate from the Easter bunny. Who cared if it was really symbolic of anything? Okay…I retract that last statement. I was brought up in a Catholic base, where we oh-so-slightly were given some understanding into why we celebrated Easter…but not nearly enough to warrant any real respect of this widely-practiced holiday.
While many Christians and Christian churches in the United States participate in annual Easter egg hunts, some parishioners might be surprised to know that these oval-shaped objects were originally symbolic to Paganism. The illusive tradition of the Easter egg has escaped mainstream knowledge due in great part to early Christianity adopting this symbol (as theirs) to signify the rebirth of Jesus Christ. However, Pagan celebrations began long before Christianity existed; and one of these celebrations included a simple chicken egg to symbolize the rebirth of the earth during the spring. Long ago and still today, another celebration kicks off at the start of spring. Nowruz, which is celebrated throughout parts of the world, (including Afghanistan, Iran, Albania, Syria, and India, among other Eastern countries) includes the tradition of decorating eggs for the Persian New Year.
Imagine that! Easter eggs didn’t really begin as “Easter” eggs at all. And all this time, I thought they were laid by a magical rabbit every Easter Sunday…go figure.
Commentary by CarolAnn Bailey-Lloyd