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It’s common knowledge that Easter is a Christian celebration of Christ’s rising, but this holiday also has pagan origins. Where did the colored eggs, cute little bunnies, baby chicks, leg of lamb dinners, and lilies come from? They are all symbols of rebirth and the lamb was a traditional religious sacrifice.

Easter falls in the spring, the yearly time of renewal, when the earth renews itself after a long, cold winter. The word Easter comes to us from the Norsemen’s Eostur, Eastar, Ostara, and Ostar, and the pagan goddess Eostre, all of which involve the season of the growing sun and new birth. The Easter Bunny arose originally as a symbol of fertility, due to the rapid reproduction habits of the hare and rabbit.

Long hard winters often meant little food, and a fresh egg for Easter was quite a prize. Later, Christians abstained from eating meat during the Lenten season prior to Easter. Easter was the first chance to enjoy eggs and meat after the long abstinence.

The egg is nature’s perfect package. It has, during the span of
history, represented mystery, magic, medicine, food and omen. The
egg represents the rebirth of the earth. The long, hard winter is
over; the earth burst forth and is reborn just as the egg
miraculously burst forth with life. The egg, therefore, is believed
to have special powers.

It was buried under the foundations of buildings to ward off evil;
pregnant young Roman women carried an egg on their persons to
foretell the sex of their unborn children; French brides stepped
upon an egg before crossing the threshold of their new homes.

It is the universal symbol of Spring celebrations throughout the
world and has been dyed, painted, adorned and embellished in the
celebration of its special symbolism.

To many Pagans, the golden yolk represents the Sun God, while its
white shell is seen as the White Goddess and the egg as a whole
represents rebirth.

Traditionally, the eggs were marked with brilliant colors along with
various types of bands drawn upon them which represented the cycles
of life, death, and rebirth. Other symbols representing the triple
Goddess, the Sun, and such shapes as triangles, squares, circles,
and dots can usually be found. The drawing of special signs upon a
symbolic object as with the eggs is a form of magic, as is done
when creating a talisman or amulet.

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Comments on: "Easter Eggs…a little History" (4)

  1. Thanks Cherokee. Easter is always as sad time for me, both my dogs died over the easter weekend. One in 2004 and the other a year late in 2005.

    • Dear Tarryn:
      Holidays can often bring up memories of those that we loved who have passed on. I just know that those little dogs are going to be waiting for you in spirit. Have a blessed springtime! Cherokee Billie

  2. Thanks Cherokee! This post is lovely! Like Tarryn, but slightly different, Easter has been a sad time… I am grateful for everything I own and God grants me and my family, but things were always sad in Easter, throughout the years. Anyway, there is nothing like the Ressurrection to make us reflect upon our spiritual lost and found treasures!
    Wish you had a Blessed Easter Sunday!
    Love,
    Karina de Cillo

    • Dear Karina:
      Yes, holidays can often bring up memories from the past that are not happy. Often we need to take those memories and remember that they were special times and cherish them. You bring up a good point that it’s time to think about our spiritual treasures! If people could truly value their spiritual selves more than anything in this physical world-What a change there would be! Thank you so much for your comment.
      Sending you blessings and love,
      Cherokee Billie

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