What do you think: is the Easter Bunny a friend of the egg-laying-wool-milk-sow? It would be quite nice for her to have a good friend to which she could turn to before her big annual assignment. Just kidding! The actual question is: where does the idea of a rabbit bringing colorful eggs to the biggest celebration of Christianity come from?
Let’s start with the Easter Bunny, for whom there are many different explanations which are more or less religious. Most of them do not make any sense to me, except that the candy industry played a significant role in the career of the clever bunny. Master Hare has only been responsible for the colorful eggs for about 100 years, before that they were brought by cuckoo, stork, fox and the like. So, if you as a parent don’t like the rabbit, be creative, introduce a new tradition and have another forest dweller fill the Easter nests next year.
The colorful eggs and the colors are much easier to explain than the Easter bunny. Eggs stand for fertility, new life and resurrection (resurrection Jesus = Easter). The symbolism of the oval delicacy was already known by the ancient Egyptians. Their decedent often got a few eggs in their graves to make it clear that resurrection would be quite interesting for them.
The Christians did not distribute eggs as grave goods, yet they were important and in demand as well. Especially after Good Friday, as they were, just like meat, not allowed during the Lenten season. However, the chickens did not stop laying eggs during those forty days, nobody wanted to throw them away and so they had to be preserved. Boiling them was already a popular way to do so in medieval times, and to know how old the eggs were, they were characterized with different colors depending on their age. When Lent was finally over, all those colorful goodies were distributed as gifts to all ages.
I think it’s really nice and interesting to learn where these traditions have their origins. Now that I know about all of that the Easter egg hunt in the garden is even more fun for me and accordingly inspired, my basket fills up almost by itself. In case that you also got out of the hunt with a rich prey I have a nice Easter Egg processing hint for you. Enjoy, you guys!
Easter egg sandwich
1 Easter egg, 1 slice of bread, 1 tsp cream cheese, 1 tsp yoghurt, 1 leaf of lettuce or cress, sea salt – Stir the cream cheese with the yoghurt and spread the mixture on your bread. Peel your Easter egg, cut it into thin slices and cover the bread with it. Sprinkle with sea salt and garnish with the striped salad or some cress.