The Online Library of Knowledge


Why do we have Easter eggs at Easter?

Traditional Easter eggs from LithuaniaTraditional Easter eggs from LithuaniaIn the early years of Christianity, Easter eggs symbolized the empty tomb of Jesus after his resurrection. Early Christians dyed chicken eggs with a red colouring, in memory of the blood that was shed at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Others used the colour green, to celebrate the new foliage emerging after winter. According to the oldest traditions, these decorated chicken eggs were offered as gifts to children. The giving of chocolate eggs wrapped in colourful foil is a more recent custom, originating in the 19th century.

A chef tosses a pancake on Shrove TuesdayA chef tosses a pancake on Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday

It was once customary to use up all the eggs in the house before Lent started. Lent is a period of 40 days in the Christian calendar between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, during which many Christians “give up” certain luxuries to mark Jesus’s time in the wilderness. Eating eggs was once forbidden during Lent, thus establishing the tradition of Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras), the last time eggs were allowed to be eaten before Lent.

Easter egg Easter egg "tree"

Gift eggs

The Ukrainian art of decorating eggs in the spring, known as pysanky, dates to ancient, pre-Christian times.

© 2020 Q-files Ltd. All rights reserved. Switch to Mobile