Easter is the most important date in the Christian calendar. Every year, Christians around the world remember Jesusв crucifixion and celebrate his resurrection three days later. But how did the egg come to represent Easter? We take a look at some of the theories, explore the traditions that have come and gone over the centuries, and show you how to make your own traditional Easter Egg. Throughout history, people across the world have given each other eggs at spring festivals to mark the seasons. Early Christians in Mesopotamia dyed eggs in the period after Easter. The practice was adopted by the Orthodox Churches, and from there it spread into Western Europe. Eggs represent new life and rebirth, and itвs thought that this ancient custom was absorbed into Easter celebrations. During Lent, when Christians fasted to mark Jesusв time in the wilderness, eggs were one of the foods that people werenвt allowed to eat (incidentally, this is
). So when Easter Sunday came around, tucking into an egg was a real treat. Various traditions and superstitions sprang up around the egg at Easter. Eggs laid on Good Friday were said to turn into diamonds if they were kept for 100 years. Some thought that eggs cooked on Good Friday and eaten on Easter would promote fertility and prevent sudden death, and it became the custom to have your eggs blessed before you ate them.
It was also said that if your egg had two yolks, youвd soon become rich. В In Devon and Cornwall, people used to play a game like conkers with their eggs, hitting them against each other until one of them cracked. One tradition just about clings on in some parts of England в the pace egg, and pace egg plays. The word вpaceв comes from вpaschalв, the Latin name for Easter. They were hard boiled hen, duck or goose eggs with a colourful shell. The first mention of pace eggs comes from earlyВ 18th-century Lancashire, and they grew in popularity over the century. They were given as presents or at pace egg plays,В and sometimesВ they were rolled along the ground in a race в perhaps to symbolise the rolling away of the stone from Jesusв tomb. Thereвs still an annual egg rolling event in Preston. The worldвs most famous egg roll takes place every year on the White House lawn in Washington DC. Pace egg plays can still be found in Lancashire and West Yorkshire, with one of the most famous at Heptonstall. Theyвre a little like mummersв plays, or medieval mystery plays, and many feature St George в whose story we tell at our. The first English chocolate egg was sold by Fryвs in 1873. Since then theyвve become hugely popular 80 million are sold in the UK each year and the pace egg has all but vanished.
But we can show you how to make your own в and itвs up to you whether you eat it, smash it or roll it! Any eggs can be used to make pace eggs, although white egg shells will produce more vivid results. Allow 10-12 minutes boiling time for large hens eggs or 15 minutes for duck eggs. You can either boil the colourant (the same quantities as listed below) along with 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar in with the eggs or submerge the hard boiled eggs in a dye bath after they have been cooked. To make the dye bath use 250ml water to the same quantity of colourant listed below plus 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar. The more dye you use the more vibrant the effect! You may also want to wear rubber gloves to avoid your hands getting stained. Orange either boil the brown skins of 2 3 large onions separately to make a dye bath or boil them with the eggs. Once the eggs have cooled, use kitchen towel to smear flavourless oil over each one. Gently rub this off to give the eggs a bit of a shine. Store in the fridge until required. Strips of dyed rags can also be tied around the egg before boiling в this will give the shells a marbled effect when the colour runs from the material. You could also draw on the shell with wax before placing it in the dye, which leaves a white inscription on a coloured background.
You could also use a very sharp, pointed knife to inscribe a design on the surface by carefully removing the colour and revealing the white shell underneath. Join us for a crackingВ Easter this year. You can take the kids on an they ll get to solve clues and meet characters from the past as they try to track down the chocolate treasure. Or, and explore England s past over the long weekend. Brightly, and have become integral to the celebration of today. However, the tradition of painting hard-boiled eggs during springtime pre-dates Christianity. In many cultures around the world, the egg is a symbol of new life, fertility and rebirth. For thousands of years, Iranians and others have decorated eggs on, the Iranian New Year that falls on the spring equinox. Some claim that the Easter egg has pagan roots. Before Christians celebrated the resurrection of Jesus, some argue ancient pagans in Europe as the return of the sun God — a rebirth of light and an emergence from the lean winter. Some also point to the Venerable Bede, an English monk who wrote the first history of Christianity in England, for evidence of this connection. Bede argued that even derived from a pagan fertility goddess named \”Eostre\” in English and Germanic cultures. Scholars have since noted that there is little to no evidence of such a goddess outside of Bede\’s writings.
Also, in most other languages the word for Easter — Pascua in Spanish and Pasques in French, for instance — from the Greek and Latin Pascha or Pasch, for Passover. For Christians, the Easter egg is symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Painting Easter eggs is an especially beloved tradition in the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches where the to represent the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross. Easter eggs are blessed by the priest at the end of the Paschal vigil and distributed to the congregants. The hard shell of the egg represents the sealed Tomb of Christ, and cracking the shell represents Jesus\’ resurrection from the dead. Moreover, historically Christians would abstain from eating eggs and meat during, and Easter was the first chance to eat eggs after a long period of abstinence. (Orthodox Christians continue to abstain from eggs during Lent. ) Easter egg hunts and egg rolling are two popular egg-related traditions. An egg hunt involves hiding eggs outside for children to run around and find on Easter morning. Eggs are rolled as a symbolic re-enactment of the rolling away of the stone from ChristБs tomb. In the United States, the is an annual event that is held on the White House lawn each Monday after Easter. Check out these beautifully painted Easter Eggs!