|World's largest Easter egg, Vegreville, Alberta|
Blessing of the Easter eggs:
Lord, let the grace of your blessing come upon these eggs, that they be healthful food for your faithful who eat them in thanksgiving for the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you forever and ever.
This blessing is from 1610, but still in use.
|Faberge egg for the Russian royal family.|
The tradition of Easter eggs is very old, and comes from the Christian church in Mesopotamia. From there it spread through Eastern Europe, and finally to the West.
It represents new life, and so the resurrection. The first Easter eggs were coloured red to represent the blood of the crucifixion. According to legend, Mary Magdalene brought eggs to share with the women who went to visit the tomb of Jesus on the first Easter morning. When she saw that the stone had been moved away, the eggs in her basket turned red.
Another reason for the tradition is that by the old rules for the Lenten fast, eggs were not eaten. So Easter morning was your first chance to eat eggs for breakfast. In the meantime, the hens had continued to lay throughout Lent, and so you had an oversupply built up. To preserve them until they were again permissible, they had been hard boiled.
|A more traditional style from Greece.|