Skip to comments.The Christian Origin of Easter Eggs.
Posted on 04/05/2012 9:17:44 AM PDT by dangus
In past years, I've debunked all sorts of nonsense about supposedly pagan origins of various Easter traditions, and Easter itself. However, since the Western Church has lost some of its ancient traditions, I was unaware of the Christian origins of Easter eggs. Since attending Eastern rites, occasionally, I have learned the truth:
Traditionally, Christians have fasted from not only meat on Friday, but from all meat, fish, and dairy, all week long. Thus, just before Lent, great Feasts are held to consume all the spoilable foods that are abstained from during Lent. One can wait until after Lent is over to slaughter the cattle. But you can't tell the chickens to hold off on laying their eggs.
By the end of Lent, therefore, it was quite natural for medieval and ancient Christians to have accumulated a *lot* of eggs. And they're more likely to stay fresh if they are boiled ahead of time. And as they gathered in the house, they naturally became a symbol of anticipating Easter. In turn, they became greatly decorated.
Today, children are less apt to get excited over eggs, since they no longer say to themselves, "Yay! We can finally eat something besides Hummus!" So to represent the anticipation for Easter, the eggs are made of chocolate. Of course, it is sad that in our secular time, the meaning of Easter itself is being lost, but don't blame the eggs, but rather blame a culture which has come to associate abstinence with nothing other than deprivation.
works for me.....
You mean ...there....is...no... Easter Bunny?
Easter eggs come from the Easter bunny. Duh! Everyone knows that.
Do you have a source or is this all your speculation?
The Easter bunny merely distributes the easter eggs. He lays those little chocolate candies. (It’s true! I’ve seen my own bunnies lay them! I imagine that since the Easter bunny is special, the ones my own bunnies laid probably wouldn’t taste as good.)
..and if you are just speculating, it would probably be more accurate to reference the boiled egg eaten during Passover as a symbol of korban chagigah (festival sacrifice) that was given in the temple.
The challenge with the speculation above is that I’m aware of, only the Eastern Orthodox church bans eating eggs during Lent, the Catholic church doesn’t.
I’m definitely a believer in the notion that various traditions (an even etymologies) support each other, so that many traditions are not “this OR that” but “this AND that.” Therefore, the notion seems quite plausible, that paschal egg contributed the degree of seriousness with which Eastern Christians treasure their Easter eggs.
But yes, dairy, fish, and meat were abstained from traditionally in the Western Church, as well.
On the “Black Fast” of Lent:
Lent itself is pagan in origin.
Before there was a Western Church and an Eastern Church, before the bishop of Rome had any supremacy over other sees, there was the Christian Church.
Ah, yes... If the Catholic Church says it’s so, to so many Protestants, that enough is reason to believe it’s pagan. Here’s the deal: The obligation to fast is biblical. The time and manner of fasting is chosen by the office to which he granted the power to declare what is bound and what is loosed in Heaven and on Earth:
“And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” — Matthew 16:19.
The Keys of the Kingdom is a reference to the office of Regent, who serves until the return of the King. The office cannot logically pass away until the King returns, so Peter certainly has successors.
So when do you fast?
“And when [Jesus] had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.” — Matthew 4:2.
“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands on them, they sent [them] away.” — Acts 13:2-3
“And he said unto them, This kind [of demon] can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” — Mark 9:29
And the Eastern Churches persist in the fasts as well, so what’s your point?
And the Eastern Churches persist in the fasts as well (moreseo, by far, in fact), so what’s your point?
Thank you. Sent to all my email friends.
Have a wonderful Resurrection Day!!
Thank you. Amidst all the quarreling, it’s nice to get such a note.
Have a great Resurrection Day, too! (Or, as we Catholics say, when being formal, Happy Paschal Sunday!)
How right you are! And I am happy every time pagan imagery gets cleaned up and reclaimed by Christ and Christians.
I like innocent originally-pagan things like
Easter eggs; and the very word Easter
Christmas trees and holly wreaths
parades and pageants and processions
cakes for birthdays (and candles on cakes)
brides with wedding rings,
wearing white, carrying bouquets and
Wedding ceremonies themselves, which were also a pagan custom, and are not commanded in Scripture
I dont mind using names of days that originate from pagan gods
Or the names of months
January, from Janus
February, from Februa
March, from Mars
April, from Apru/Aphro, short for Aphrodite
May, from Maia
June, from Juno
I boldly approve:
putting flowers on graves
making statues and paintings of people we admire
all theater arts and drama
children's toys like jacks and dice and dolls
all ball-sports like soccer
all athletic competitions
the Olympics, of course
Had enough? Not me! I love them all, and more.
I love the genius of Catholicism in appreciating, adapting and purifying so much that was harmless and even good in pagan cultures. Read what Tolkien has to say about Anglo-Saxon and Icelandic myths and their significance, sometimes, as a kind of pre-evangelium to Christianity.
Outstanding Protestants have also seen the value in pre-Christian cultures. Read some of Milton's poetry --- a Puritan of all Puritans in the very Age of Puritanism--- and see how many extended and positive references there are to the paganism of classical Greek and Roman antiquity.
Even better, read C.S. Lewis
Blessed Lent! Happy Easter! In Christ's Name, Amen!
Informative post! Only..... everyone knows that `Easter’ is an evolved spelling of Ishtar, the Babylonian deity./s
I have also read and was told by one priest that all the eggs were died red — for the blood shed during the Passion.
On the inside the white of the egg represents the purity of Christ.
And the yolk of yellow represents the sunrise of the Resurrection of the Lord.
I was not ever able to verify this, but it seems to have some legend legs.
**Lent itself is pagan in origin.**
Do you have a Bible? Open it to the Temptation in the Desert,
Christ fasted for 40 days — this is very Christian, not pagan.
Where did you get that idea anyway?
That’s why, in the new translations, you dod not find the word, Easter. Instead you find the original words, Pasch and paschal.
I love the return to Pasch and Paschal. How about you?
do not find
I appreciate your style, but:
The word, “Easter” is not pagan. There is no evidence to support Bede’s presumption that Eostremonath refered to a god named “Eostre.” Besides, “Easter” is called “Pascal Sunday,” formally in the English Catholic world, and some variation on “Paschach” throughout the rest of the world. “Easter” means, simply, the turning towards East, so that the Roman world was facing the Temple of Jerusalem. If, in fact, “East” is related to a goddess, “Eostre,” it’s most likely secondarily.
I have definitely heard that one before.
Peter Boyles of KHOW in Denver had someone on talking about this very sorta subject this morning.
I do indeed, and I recently learned that the Spanish word for Easter is “Pascua”.
As far as I know, it's O.E. Easterdæg, from Eastre (Northumbrian Eostre, goddess of "east" and dawn and spring.)(Root word of "estrogen," too.) Bede says Anglo-Saxon Christians adopted her name and many of the celebratory practices for their Mass of Christ's resurrection.
Almost all languages use a variant of "Pascha": Pashkët; Pask; Pasqua; Påske; Pasen; Pâques; Pascuas; Paskah; etc. etc. etc.
But it doesn't matter to me, really, whether you use the word from Old English or Koine Greek or Church Slavonic. As long as the reality is the same.
Myh favorite Easter, uh, Paschal greetings:
Danish Kristus er opstanden! Sandelig Han er Opstanden!
Rastafarian Krestos a uprisin! Seen, him a uprisin fe tru!
Indeed, but in Spanish “Pascua” also refers to Christmas. A common Christmas greeting is “felices Pascuas”. When referring to Easter/Pasch... it is customary to call it “Pascua de Resurreccion” (to avoid misunderstandings, I reckon). However, I was taught that the word “Pascua” comes from the Hebrew “Pessach” (Passover).