Columns / Discourse / April 20, 2011

Did You Know: What’s with the eggs?

With Easter coming up it’s a time for Christians to celebrate the resurrection of Christ and for everyone to celebrate the coming of spring! What better way to celebrate than with colorful eggs, bunnies, marshmallow chicks, spring flowers? Fun facts about it! Here’s a little information about Easter that you may or may not have already known. Happy Easter, everyone!

1. Easter was named after Eastre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess whose symbols were the hare and the egg. In order to draw in more non-Christians, Christians decided to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection during the pagan holiday to convert them in a more clandestine way. During the pagan festival, the ancient Saxons celebrated the return of spring, and commemorated their goddess of offspring and springtime.

2. If the Anglo-Saxons worshipped their goddess Eastre through her earthly symbol, then who brought the symbol of the Easter bunny to America? The Germans did! The German settlers believed a white hare would leave brightly colored eggs for all good children on Easter morning, and the children would build nests of leaves and sticks in their gardens for the Easter hare to fill with eggs. How far we’ve come from simple Easter eggs to baskets of eggs with chocolate, marshmallow peeps, jellybeans and a whole bunch of other gifts!

3. Easter is a moveable feast like Passover, because both holidays are dependent on the phases of the moon, meaning that they have different dates each year.

4. Can you ever imagine egging a church? Well, in the medieval times, there was a festival of “egg-throwing” that was held in church. The priest would start by throwing an egg to one of the choir boys, who tossed it from one choir boy to the next. When the clock struck 12, whoever held the egg was the winner and got to keep it. Sounds memorable!

5. Did you know Easter has its own carols? There is one certain Easter carol in Latin that begins with “Tempus adest floridum,” which is translated to “Spring has now brought forth the flowers.” Other Easter carols include “Here Comes Peter Cottontail,” “Easter Parade” and “The Carnival Song.”

6. If you ever want to make a masterpiece of decorating an egg, try the Ukranian method. Their decoration technique is called pysanky. Melted beeswax is applied to the fresh white egg, then dipped in baths of dye. After each dip, wax is painted over the newly colored area that the artist wants to keep. Eventually, a complex pattern of lines and colors emerge. It’s a long process, but it’ll look really cool!

7. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest Easter egg ever made was just over 25 feet high, and made of chocolate and marshmallow. The egg weighed 8,968 pounds and was supported by an internal steel frame. That’s some dedication there. Try painting that like the Ukranians!

Emily Park

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