Written by Staff Writer
27 Mar, 2016 | 6:58 pm
The 40 day long lent season ends today.
The egg is ubiquitous and cheap today, but this incredible, edible source of protein was, years ago, a potent religious symbol. Even before the birth of Christianity, the egg was seen as a symbol of Spring, a celebration of the rebirth and re-invigoration after the harshness of winter. And we’ve got all the facts behind Easter eggs and what it means.
That’s why the Mesopotamians – an ancient Christian community living in an area roughly covered today by Iraq, Syria and Kuwait – used to stain eggs red to symbolise the blood of Christ.
The egg, Swedish philologist M.P. Nilsson wrote in his 1907 book on eggs in ancient times, ”is an apparently animate and inert substance which carries within itself a potent principle of life, and that which has a special vital power must perforce awake or enhance the vital powers of those to whom it is offered.” This could explain the association: the dormant egg, like the tomb of Jesus, contains new life within it. The eggshell is the rock that sealed the tomb of Christ
There is surprisingly little in the Bible about eggs – we get passages about eggs as food (Job 6:6) and a few passages using an egg in an analogy (Luke 11:12, Isaiah 10:14). Eastern Orthodox tradition has it that Mary Magdalene was bringing cooked eggs to Jesus’ tomb; the eggs turned bright red – the color of blood – when she saw that Christ had risen.
Over the time, Easter eggs became more and more elaborately decorated, perhaps most famously by Russian jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé, creator of the priceless Fabergé eggs as Easter gifts for Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II.
The introduction of chocolate eggs is a relatively new phenomenon, originating in France and Germany in the 19th century.
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