Easter eggs that indicate fertility and new life are used widely during the time of Easter as ornamentation, gifts and even form an integral part of all feasts. Most people gift egg baskets on Easter that are loaded with beautifully painted and adorned eggs. If you visit any Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches, you can see eggs dyed in bright red color that signifies the blood of Lord Jesus. Easter eggs not just adorn the homes, dining tables or the traditional gift baskets, but are used extensively to deck up shops and marketplaces too. For kids and foodies, chocolate filled eastern eggs are prepared that is a must-have preparation in all Christian homes. What's more, Easter celebration is usually incomplete without Easter egg games like egg hunting, painting, egg rolling, bowling, etc. It's said that on the Easter Eve, Easter eggs are hidden all over the house, thanks to Easter bunny, and the kids have to go around hunting for them. Eggs not only symbolizes life and birth, but is also deemed as the sign of resurrection in Christianity.
Easter eggs have a special relevance. In the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox churches, the red hued eggs are used to symbolize the blood of Jesus Christ, which he shed on the Cross, during his crucifixion. The hard shell of the egg is believed to represent the sealed Tomb of Christ and the cracking of the egg apparently represent His resurrection. During Holy Saturday or the Paschal Vigil, the Easter eggs are sanctified by the Church priest and doled out to the disciples. During Easter prayers, every family brings to Church basket filled with Easter eggs, breads and other symbolic Easter foods. In the Roman Catholic Church in Poland, the Church priest blesses the egg basket by sampling the eggs and other goodies. Not only is this one of the most beloved Polish traditions, but is also an enduring custom that have been in vogue for ages now.
Although the relevance of Easter eggs is usually cited in symbolic terms, the Eastern people trace the emergence of the symbol to Mary Magdalene. It's said that Mary brought cooked eggs to the tomb of Jesus and quite unbelievably, all the eggs in her basket turned to bright red. And then she witnessed the sight of her life, the vision of Christ rising from his tomb. Since then, the egg has come to signify the boulder in the tomb of Jesus in Easter Christianity.
Another legend traces the origin of the Easter egg to the efforts of Mary Magdalene to spread the news of Jesus' ascension. According to this legend, soon after the rising of the Christ, Mary went to the Emperor of Rome and gave him the news of Christ's resurrection, upon which he indicated to an egg on his table and said, "Christ has no more risen than that egg is red." And soon after, the egg on the table turned blood red in color. This is how the Easter egg came to symbolize the most important event of Easter, the resurrection of the Christ.
Read about Easter egg decoration and chocolate Easter eggs.