• Sun, Apr 8 2007

Why Do We Hunt Easter Eggs?

Why Do We Hunt Easter Eggs?

 A lot of us, whether we celebrate the religious holiday, color and hide Easter eggs.  I remember as a little girl going to church in our new Easter dresses, getting our Easter baskets and then spending the remainder of the day hiding and hunting our Easter eggs over and over again.  I had two sisters and this would entertain us for hours.

So, why do we hunt Easter Eggs?  I knew that Easter Eggs symbolized “new life” or “re-birth”, but where did this tradition spring from (no pun intended) and what did it all mean?

I went to one of the best sources on the Internet to find out, Wikipedia:

Easter egg origin stories abound—one has an emperor claiming that the Resurrection was as likely as eggs turning red (see Mary Magdalene)[citation needed]; more prosaically the Easter egg tradition may have celebrated the end of the privations of Lent. In the West, eggs were forbidden during Lent as well as other traditional fast days. Likewise, in Eastern Christianity, both meat and dairy are prohibited during the fast, and eggs are seen as “dairy” (a foodstuff that could be taken from an animal without shedding its blood).

The Egg Hunt is designed that who finds the egg/eggs has good luck/new life for the year.  Not all cultures hide their eggs.  Some give them as gifts and in some European nations they play a game called “egg dumping” where players hit each others eggs and whoever has the intact egg wins.

Coloring eggs symbolizes a variety of things.  It initially started out as red, to symbolize the blood of Christ, but as with everything, varying cultures and religions changed up their Spring Time egg traditions to suit their circumstances.

Eggs are found not only in Christian traditions, but in the Jewish Passover meal (Seder) and various pagan rituals celebrating Spring.

To read more click here.

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  • sofia

    Wow me and some co-workers were at work wondering why we have the easter eggs on easter and why do we hunt them i never knew wow what great information.
    Thanks

  • James Marduk

    Hi, Tracey. I’m really sorry–I’m sure you tried to do some background research on this–but you needed to look a little further than Wikipedia. The information you’ve shared is not fully accurate and is far too biased in a ‘Christianized’ direction. The ‘Christians’ were late-comers to the Easter traditions. The origins of this celebration have nothing to do with them or the observances and meanings they have adopted into it.

    Millennia before ‘Christianity’ was invented, eggs were dyed and consumed at the spring festivals in ancient Egypt, Persia, Greece, and Rome. The Persians of that era gave colored eggs as gifts at the vernal equinox. Coloring eggs was introduced to Western Europe during the course of the fifteenth century.

    Your info about the Egg hunt is partially right, but still incomplete. We have Easter hunts for colored eggs because of the Saxons — the Easter egg is a symbol of rebirth, health, luck, and healing. It was used to ward off evil and bless all things good. The bright colors of the Easter egg are to represent the sunlight of spring and the rebirth of the world. Eggs are given as gifts and children sent out to ‘hunt’ for them as a gesture of bringing the blessings of Eostre upon them.

    There is more I could say, but not without overtaking your column. <> It’s all to do with new growth, new life and eggs. It all began more than 5,000 years ago with the Mesopotamian/Babylonian Akitu Festival (their New Year); a celebration of world renewal and rebirth — it is through Akitu that it all connects to the Moon (and the Hare of the Moon), to a calculated date following the vernal equinox based on the lunar cycle, to fertility (the Goddess, Ishtar, was Eostre to the Saxons), and to the joy of life that we’ve all come to know and celebrate as Easter.

  • http://www.foodieobsessed.com Tracey Thompson

    Hey, thanks for the extra egg hunting info. I realize that a lot of these ideas come from way further back…I recently wrote a post on Good Friday and read a little more up on Easter. The start of these celebrations date WAY back. I appreciate the lesson…when you get down to it, you could probably right a whole book just on the subject…of course, someone probably beat us to it. I have always enjoyed learning the history behind many of our traditions, traditions we often take for granted.
    thanks again

  • Raman Chandran

    Hey James Marduk, I like how you refer to Christianity as being “invented”. Your obviously an incredibly intelligent person. No doubt you have “emotional” issues over the politics of organized religion, and use that as some sort of basis to refer to Christianity as being “invented”. I have deficated turds that have more intelligence then you expressed in your little comment. Grow up and acknowledge the divinity of Lord Christ. Your info on easter eggs I think is fairly accurate, but your comment on Christianity being “invented”, screams stupidity. Feel free to email me. Have a nice day dumbass, though you are my brother in spirit, which is why I am so critical toward you, it pains me to witness one of my own brothers expressing such retched ignorence =).

  • edgar

    thank for letting me know why we hunt easter eggs

  • Kayla

    Happy Easter and Jesus if you can hear me god bless and i pray every night to hope you are OK with my 2 grandads who have dies two.!