Brightly decorated eggs, the Easter Bunny, oodles of chocolate, and a family brunch are all integral parts of most annual Easter traditions. Since we are celebrating our Eggstravaganza at the Original Pancake House this month, we decided to explore the history of Easter eggs to find out where this tradition began.
Though today Easter eggs are associated with the Christian holiday of Easter, the tradition of decorating and painting eggs extends back to ancient times. As a symbol of life and rebirth, decorated eggs have been found in ancient civilizations in Africa, South and Central America, and Mesopotamia. For example, Iranians have been decorating eggs for many thousands of years in honor of their new year’s holiday of Nowruz, which coincides with the spring equinox. The Easter egg as we know it today may have pagan roots as part of a springtime and rebirth celebration that occurred each year and involved an egg hunt.
In the Christian religion, Easter eggs are symbols of the resurrection and rebirth of Jesus Christ. In Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox churches, eggs are dyed red to represent the blood that Christ shed on the cross. The egg’s hard shell represents the Tomb of Christ and the cracking of the shell represents his resurrection. Easter egg rolling is representative of the rolling away of the stone in front of Christ’s tomb. In A.D. 1610 under Pope Paul V, the Christian Church officially adopted the Easter egg as a symbol of the resurrection. These Easter traditions originated in Europe and Eastern Europe and were brought to the United States over the past century by immigrant families. Today we continue to celebrate Easter with many of these old traditions including an Easter egg roll on the White House lawn and backyard Easter egg hunts.
However you plan to celebrate this Easter holiday, be it with an egg hunt or just a gathering of family and friends for brunch in Denver; the Original Pancake House wishes you a very happy Easter and a wonderful spring!