Why you give the Easter egg: all traditions

Why do you give the Easter egg as a gift Easter traditions in Italy and in the world: the Easter egg, the true meaning

EASTER EGG
Why is it a tradition to give an Easter egg as a present: the meaning
There’s no Easter without an egg. So much so that supermarkets have been sacked, and finding a chocolate egg just before the holiday is no easy task, if not impossible. In the meantime, in these days those who have more artistic vein buy chicken eggs to make decorations for the table.

 

In the U.S. and the UK, eggs are painted and then hidden for a treasure hunt loved by children. In short, everywhere in the world — or almost everywhere — the egg is the master for Easter. But why do we give eggs as gifts at Easter and what is the true meaning of them?

The Easter Egg: The True Meaning
To know the true meaning of the Easter egg, we need to go back centuries in the earliest civilizations of History. The egg was considered the symbol of the union of Heaven and Earth, for Egyptians it was the sum of the four elements, for Persians it was the symbol of life and they used to give it to each other as a present. And also in ancient Greece it was a very common gift.

When Christianity arrived, it took and reinterpreted the symbols of the ancients and pagans. The egg perfectly symbolizes the meaning of Easter, or the Resurrection of Jesus, the rebirth. So it began to spread as an Easter gift and in ancient Mesopotamia the first Christians colored it red to remember the blood of the passion of Christ.

The diffusion of the egg as a symbol of the Christian Easter has also another reason: during the period of Lent the faithful were forbidden to eat meat and also eggs. But as the hens continued to lay there was a surplus of eggs.

With the passing of centuries the tradition of the egg is consolidated as a symbol of Easter festivity. But it takes on different forms. In the France of the Sun King was born the first chocolate egg, but among common people they continued to give boiled chicken eggs. In Germany, the custom of wrapping boiled eggs in laurel leaves to color them was born.

Nobles prefer eggs made of precious metals. So in the court of Tsars in Russia at the end of 1800’s the goldsmith Peter Carl Fabergé prepares eggs decorated in platinum with another egg inside which contained a golden chick and a reproduction of the imperial crown. It is a success and it is the birth of the surprise in the egg.

Piedmont, too, seems to have its place in the history of the Easter egg. The master chocolatiers of the early 1900s were the first to put the surprise in the chocolate Easter egg.

EASTER EGGS
Colored Easter Eggs: Tradition of Eastern and Protestant Countries
Easter Egg: traditions in Europe and in the world
Colomba is the typical Easter cake and it is an Italian tradition, whereas chocolate egg is a tradition spread in most of Europe. As we have seen, the first chocolate eggs were born in France at the court of the Sun King: a confectionery tradition which has been strengthened in the course of time. Even in Germany chocolate eggs are eaten at Easter.

In countries having an orthodox majority, that is in Eastern Europe, it is more common to exchange decorated and colored eggs. Also in Northern Europe it is the painted egg to be the most common version of Easter egg. This is because in Celtic civilizations the egg was the symbol of spring rebirth after the rigors of winter.

In the United Kingdom, both traditions of the chocolate egg and the decorated egg coexist. But children love even more the Easter Bunnies. These bunnies derive from an ancient pagan cult tied to the Goddess of Spring, who was depicted with features resembling those of a rabbit.

 

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