WHERE DID EASTER EGGS COME FROM?
By: Dale Munatswa
Colourful, yummy and irresistibly tasty, one cannot help but to spontaneously throw them into one’s mouth and crunch on the hollow chocolate filled Easter eggs. Have you however wondered where they came from?
The Easter Bunny of course!
Not really. The Easter Bunny or Easter Hare is a fantasy character depicted as a rabbit bearing Easter eggs on the night before Easter. According to Cross Gary’s Wonderous Children and Modern American Children’s Culture, the Easter bunny was believed to play the role of a judge, determining whether children had been obedient at the start of the season of Eastertide (The Easter season or Paschal time, a festival season in the liturgical year of Christianity that starts on Easter Sunday).
Easter eggs are in the oldest tradition, boiled and dyed chicken eggs or in the contemporary custom, egg shaped chocolate or plastic eggs filled with candy, jellybeans and/ or sweets.
According to The Guardian Volume 4, the custom of decorated eggs conveying meaning and symbolism goes way back, pre-dating Christian traditions. Decorated ostrich eggs, and representations of ostrich eggs in gold and silver, were commonly placed in graves of the ancient Sumerians and Egyptians as early as 5,000 years ago. However the custom of the Easter egg, originated with early Christians, who stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ, shed at his crucifixion. Easter eggs symbolised the empty tomb of Jesus. A bird hatches from it symbolising life; similarly, the Easter egg, for Christians, is a reminder that Jesus rose from the grave, and that those who believe will also experience eternal life.
Apart from being a traditional custom, Easter eggs are also used in celebration of springtime. They are also given as a token of friendship, and/ or good wishes.
An egg hunt is characteristic of Easter activity. Numerous Easter eggs are hidden for children to find indoors and outdoors. After the hunt, prizes are won for either finding the most eggs, the biggest or smallest egg.
The World’s largest egg hunt took place at uShaka Marine World on Saturday 19 April and on Sunday 20 April. According to their website, 100000 Beacon Marshmallow eggs (or tokens) were hidden in nooks and crannies across the marine theme park.
To all our Christian readers, Iziko hopes you had a blessed Easter holiday.