Easter Eggs – Symbol and Legends
Eggs have represented new life in most cultures long before Christianity came to be.
The Christian church embraced this symbol.
Legend of the Easter Eggs and Mary Mother of Jesus
One legend tells the story of Mary, mother of Jesus, who was very distraught when she realized her beloved son was going to be crucified. As it happened she was in possession of a few eggs.
Mary knew she did not have the power to stop the crucifixion. She also knew that the torture of those being sentenced to death in this manner could be unbearable.
Mary decided to do what little she could. She would offer the eggs to the soldiers as a bribe. She hoped by giving the gift of eggs to the soldiers they would make the crucifixion of her son as bearable as possible.
As she approached the soldiers, a flow of tears ran from her eyes. She could not stop crying. As the tears reached the eggs in the basket, something very strange occurred. The tears magically changed the color of the eggs.
Every egg that had been exposed to Mary’s tears changed colors. The eggs Mary offered to the soldiers were eggs of all different colors. They truly represented Mary’s love of her son.
Legend of Maria Magdalena and the Red Easter Eggs
In this legend Mary Magdalen is in a conversation with the Roman Emperor Tiberius. She is trying to convince Tiberius that Jesus is risen from the grave.
Tiberius mocks her by saying that her statement is just as possible as the white eggs in the basket she is carrying turn red.
As she then looks down to her basket of eggs, she is astonished. As by a miracle the eggs in her basket had turned red!
Legend of Mary Magdalen and the Multicolored Eggs
The story goes a like this: Mary Magdalen had come to the grave of Jesus. She was shocked to find that Jesus was no longer in the grave.
As it happened she had some eggs in the basket she was carrying. When she glanced at the eggs in the basket, she was overwhelmed.
The eggs were no longer white; they were all different colors and beautiful.
Easter Egg Roll
Easter egg roll is a popular tradition every Easter. It is a fun competition. The object of the game is to roll an (hard boiled) egg on the ground from start to finish using a long-handled spoon.
The most famous Easter Egg Roll is probable the one held on the White House Lawn every Easter Monday.
The Easter Egg Roll on the White House Lawn was first held in 1878 when Hayes was President. Hayes and his wife Lucy were religious and would not tolerate any card playing, dancing and whatever they believed was sinful at the White House. His wife was nicknamed “Lemonade Lucy” because she refused to serve anything that contained alcohol at the White House.
They did however start a new tradition at the White House; the Easter Egg Roll! Today it is a big event. Often the President or some other celebrity will read a book for the kids during this event.
Easter Bunny Eggs History
The Easter Bunny Eggs History is truly fascinating. Throughout the Western world the Easter Bunny with her eggs has become a traditional symbol of the Easter celebrations.
We all seem to accept that the bunny produces the Easter eggs no matter how much this is in conflict with the laws of nature.
The Easter Bunny has become much like Santa Claus; bringing gifts (candy shaped like eggs or bunnies) to good children. Often the Easter Bunny may hide the eggs and the children have a fun time trying to find them.
There are many theories about why the Easter Bunny brings the eggs. Obviously the hare has always been a symbol of fertility and spring.
Some claim that Europeans used to believe that the Lapwing laid its eggs in the nests of the hares. (Hares live completely above ground, not like rabbits which burrows.) This led to the connection between hares and eggs.
Actually the name “Easter” comes from the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, Eostre also referred to as Ostara.
The goddess of spring had the hare as her sacred animal. Eggs have represented new life since Ancient times.
Ostara was also the goddess of fertility.
The notion that hares and eggs are symbols of spring, new life and fertility is found in many ancient cultures.
The Easter Bunny (rabbit) has replaced the original Easter hare, the Ancient spring symbol of fertility.
Legend – Why the Hare Lays Eggs
It all starts with Orion. Orion was a fearsome hunter. He killed all living animals he came across just for the fun of it.
Orion was extremely tall and very handsome. He had two dogs who accompanied him at all times. The names of the dogs were Sirius and Procyon.
As Orion stomped through the forest he stepped on a nest of eggs and smashed them. The mother bird was devastated.
Along came Ostara, goddess of the spring. She asked the bird why she was so sad. The bird replied she wished she were another animal. Ostara granted her wish and transformed the bird into a hare. She named the hare Lepus.
Sometime later Ostara came to see how Lepus was doing. Lepus was still unhappy which surprised Ostara. Lepus explained that it was much better being a hare but she missed being able to lay eggs.
Ostara thought for a while and then came up with a solution. Once a year, every spring Lepus, the hare was granted the wish to lay eggs.
Gaia (Mother Earth) later became furious at Orion for threatening all wildlife. She sent a scorpion to get rid of him once and for all. The bite of the scorpion killed Orion.
He was later placed in the sky by Artemis, the goddess of hunting. Some say it was Zeus who placed Orion among the stars. His dogs followed him to the sky as Canis Major and Canis Minor. Looking up at the winter night sky you will find Lepus the hare in the star constellation close by.
Orion will forever be chasing Lepus never to catch her.
The most famous Easter eggs are no doubt the Faberge eggs. The first Faberge egg was crafted as a special request made by Tsar Alexander III of Russia in 1885. He wanted to surprise his wife Empress Maria Feodorovna with an Easter gift unlike anything else ever produced.
He asked goldsmith Faberge to make this extraordinary Easter egg gift. The result was a huge success. The Empress Maria absolutely loved it. It looked like an egg, but it was covered with white gold. Inside there was “egg yolk” made from gold and inside the egg yolk was a hen made of gold. Inside the hen there was a crown with a ruby stone. It was stunning.
The Faberge Easter egg gift became a tradition. Every year the Empress would receive a new Faberge Easter egg. They were breathtaking, so extremely beautiful. Nicholas II of Russia continued this tradition. It all ended with the end of his reign. He was the last emperor of Russia.
The Faberge eggs live on. The traditions of making gorgeous eggs which open up are popular worldwide. Today thousands of beautiful eggs are produced in remembrance of Faberge.
These beautiful decorated eggs have become a symbol of love. The “Faberge eggs” sold today are popular gifts all year around. They are no longer reserved for Easter.