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Easter Egg History & Meaning: Full Story & Details


(Photo by John Giles – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Though Easter is meant to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the holiday has become synonymous with Easter eggs and Easter egg hunts. But where did these arbitrary traditions come from? That’s a good question.

Easter Egg History

Did you know the tradition of painting hard-boiled eggs during springtime actually predates Christianity? I had no idea. But in many cultures around the globe, the egg represents new life, fertility and rebirth. For thousands of years, Iranians and other mideastern cultures decorated eggs on Nowruz, the Iranian New Year that falls on the spring equinox.

There are some arguments that claim that the Easter egg has pagan roots. Wayyyyyy back in the day, it was believed that some pagans celebrated the return of the sun god on the spring equinox and used decorated eggs as a commemorative effort.

But for Christians, the easter egg represents the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Painting easter eggs is a big deal in the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches where are eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Jesus Christ dying on the cross. Easter eggs are then blessed by the priest for extra juju.

The hard shell of the egg represents the sealed Tomb of Christ, and cracking the shell represents Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Historically, Christians abstain from eating eggs and meat during Lent, and Easter was the first chance to eat eggs after a long period of abstinence. (Orthodox Christians continue to abstain from eggs during Lent.)

So that’s the deal behind easter eggs. The more ya know, right?

  • COED Writer
    A New York native & proud couch potato who loves all things pop culture. I can usually be found writing, making videos and ranking all the warriors in "Game of Thrones" based on their fighting prowess.