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SHADOWS & LIGHTS

CELEBRATING EASTER

It is all about Easter this week. There are Easter celebrations going on all around the social media.

20 April 2014 Sunday 00:25
by ÖZNUR ÇEVİK
It is all about Easter this week. There are Easter celebrations going on all around the social media. We’ve been seeing all kinds of Easter decorations such as eggs, bunnies etc. But do you know the history of Easter Eggs? To me Easter Eggs are the best part of Easter decorations which are colored beautifully.

Well, most of us know that eggs have been associated with the Christian festival of Easter, which celebrates the death and resurrection of Christ, since the early days of the church.

However, Christian customs connected with Easter eggs are to some extent adaptations of ancient pagan practices related to spring rites.

The egg has long been a symbol of 'fertility', 'rebirth' and 'the beginning'. In Egyptian mythology, the phoenix burns its nest to be reborn later from the egg that is left; Hindu scriptures relate that the world developed from an egg.

Here are some other facts on Easter Eggs:

-    Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.

-    With the rise of Christianity in Western Europe, the church adapted many pagan customs and the egg, as a symbol of new life, came to represent the Resurrection.

-    The earliest Easter eggs were hen or duck eggs decorated at home in bright colours with vegetable dye and charcoal.

-    Orthodox Christians in the middle East and in Greece painted eggs bright red to symbolize the blood of Christ. Hollow eggs (created by piercing the shell with a needle and blowing out the contents) were decorated with pictures of Christ, the Virgin Mary and other religious figures in Armenia.
-    Germans gave green eggs as gifts on Holy Thursday and hung hollow eggs on trees. Austrians placed tiny
plants around the egg and then boiled them. When the plants were removed, white patterns were created.

-    The most elaborate Easter egg traditions appear to have emerged in Eastern Europe. In Poland and Ukraine, eggs were often painted silver and gold. Pysanky, meaning to design or write, was used on eggs that were created by carefully applying wax in patterns to an egg. The egg was then dyed, wax would be reapplied in spots to preserve that color, and the egg was boiled again in other shades. The result was a multi-color striped or patterned egg.

-    The Victorians had cardboard, 'plush' and satin covered eggs filled with Easter gifts and chocolates.

-    The ultimate egg-shaped Easter gifts must have been the fabulous jewelled creations of Carl Fabergé made during the 19th century for the Russian Czar and Czarina, now precious museum pieces.

-    In the US, Easter egg hunts and egg rolling are two popular egg-related traditions. The White House Easter Egg Roll, a race in which children push decorated, hard-boiled eggs across the White House lawn, is an annual event held the Monday after Easter. The first official White House egg roll occurred in 1878, when Rutherford B. Hayes was president. The event has no religious significance, although some people have considered egg rolling symbolic of the stone blocking Jesus' tomb being rolled away, leading to his resurrection.

-    Chocolate Easter eggs were first made in Europe in the early 19th century, with France and Germany taking the lead in this new artistic confectionery. Some early eggs were solid, as the technique for mass-producing moulded chocolate had not been devised.

To all my friends I wish a merry and a happy Easter!

Until next week keep cool and healthy!


Tags: CELEBRATING EASTER, CELEBRATING, EASTER
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