50+ Original Easter eggs

A symbol of Easter («Festival yellow», as it is called in Europe) a long time ago of steel Easter eggs. Why? Perhaps the reason is very prosaic. According to one version, because during lent the chickens kept laying eggs and diet product could deteriorate, the owners tried to embellish it, paint more interesting and beautiful to feed family members and guests as much as possible Easter eggs.

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Easter eggs in Christianity

Easter eggs are attribute of one of the main religious holidays of Christians – memorial day «miraculous Resurrection» of crucified Jesus Christ. According to ancient Church tradition, the first Easter egg Holy equal to the apostles Mary Magdalene presented the Roman Emperor Tiberius. Soon after the ascension of Christ the Saviour into heaven, Mary Magdalene came to preaching the Gospel in Rome. In those days it was customary, coming to the Emperor, to bring him gifts. The rich brought jewels and poor people that could. So Mary Magdalene, who had nothing but faith in Jesus, handed to Emperor Tiberius a chicken egg with the exclamation: «Christ is Risen!». The Emperor, doubting what was said, noticed that no one can rise from the dead and it is as hard to believe as that a white egg could become red. Tiberius finished these words, and the egg began to turn from white to bright red.

The legend contributed to the fact that this custom has taken root. Dyed eggs from holders of the faith in Christ always served as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus, and with it the cleansing for a new better life. The red colouring of Easter eggs symbolized the blood of Christ and as a symbol of Resurrection. And if a person lives according to the Christian commandments, he participates in the redemptive merit of the Savior and to a new life. It was believed that the consecrated Easter egg can put out the fire, with his help searching for missing or lost in the woods a cow egg was conducted at the range cattle, so she was sick and her coat was smooth. Easter eggs are washed, they ironed on the face to be beautiful and rosy. Shells and crumbs from the day mixed with beans for planting, they sprinkled the graves of deceased relatives.

Giving each other Easter eggs, Christians profess faith in his Resurrection. If there was no Resurrection of Christ, then, teaches the Apostle Paul, the new faith would not have reason and the price, it would be in vain – «not saving and not saving us.» But Christ is risen, is risen, the first born on the earth and that revealed his power and divine grace. So the Bible says the legend.

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The ancient roots of Easter eggs

But why the egg has become one of the proofs of the Resurrection of the son of God? In ancient times the egg has symbolic importance. In the graves, burial mounds, ancient tombs belonging to the pre-Christian era, find the eggs as genuine and made of different materials (marble, clay, etc.). During the excavations in the Etruscan tombs discovered carved and natural ostrich and chicken eggs, sometimes even painted. All mythology around the world keep the legends associated with the egg as a symbol of life, regeneration, as the source of all that exists in this world.

For example, even the ancient Egyptians every spring, along with the flooding of the Nile, exchanged painted eggs hung in their sanctuaries and temples. In Egyptian mythology, the egg represents the potential of life and immortality is the seed of life and its mystery. The egg is a universal symbol of creation and creation is mentioned in Indian Vedas (Golden egg, from which hatched Brahma). In India all the birds carrying eggs are called «twice-born», as vilaplana from the egg means rebirth.

In the East it was believed that there was a time when all was chaos, and there was this chaos in a huge egg, which was hidden all life forms. The shell was warmed by the fire, giving the egg the warmth of creation. Because of this divine fire and came out of the egg of the mythical creature pan. All weightless became the Sky, and all the dense earth. Pan joined the sky and the Earth, created the wind, space, clouds, thunder, lightning. To heat the earth, pan gave her the Sun, and to remind about the cold – the moon. Thanks pan the Sun warmed the earth, lit by the Moon, were born the planets and stars.

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Since ancient times the egg was a symbol of the spring sun, carrying with them life, joy, warmth, light, rebirth of nature, freedom from the shackles of frost and snow, – in other words, the transition from nonexistence to existence. When it was decided to hold the egg as a simple small gift to pagan gods, to give eggs to friends and benefactors on the first day of the New year and birthday. Rich, wealthy people, instead of painted chicken eggs, often offered Golden or gilded Easter eggs that symbolized the sun. Among the ancient Romans it was the custom at the beginning of the festive meal, eat a baked egg is symbolically associated with the successful start of new business. Interestingly, the soft-boiled egg started the day and Russian landowners of the eighteenth century-it was believed that the liquid yolk for Breakfast promotes good assimilation of the rest of the food during the day, «lubricates» the stomach.

For our ancestors the egg was a symbol of life. It holds the embryo of the sun bird – the Rooster, budushego morning.

Piero della Francesca at the altar of Monte Feltro (Milan, Brera, XV century) of the Madonna and child depicted on the ostrich egg. Here it serves as an additional attribute of the legend of the miraculous birth of the God-man Jesus and points out to the world, which rests on the Christian faith. Byzantine theologian and philosopher John of Damascus stressed that the heaven and earth around like an egg: the shell, the sky, chaff cloud, protein – water, and the yolk is the earth. From the dead matter of the egg there is life, there lies an opportunity, an idea, a movement and development. According to legend, even in death egg gives strength to life, using the egg they feel the spirit of life and gain lost strength. There is a primeval belief that thanks to the miraculous power of eggs, you can make contact with the dead, and they seem to come alive for a while. If you put on the grave of a painted Easter egg – the first received at Easter, the dead man hears what he is told, that is, as it will come back to life and to the fact that happy or sad for living.

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Easter traditions in Russia

The Orthodox symbolism of Easter eggs has its roots in the millennial tradition of the religions of the many peoples of the world. At the same time, in Orthodoxy, she gets a major semantic addition: the egg in it, first of all, it is a symbol of bodily recreation in Christ, a symbol of exulting joy of Resurrection, the victory of Life over death. Russian folk tales recount that at the time of the Resurrection of Christ on Calvary stones turned into red eggs. The Orthodox symbolism of the egg has its roots in pre-Christian beliefs of the Slavs, which has been inherent in the cult of ancestors, the worship of the immortal souls of the dead who were considered Holy personalities.

The first written evidence of dyed eggs on Easter we find in the manuscript, written on parchment and dated to X century, from the library of the monastery of SV. Anastasia, near Thessaloniki in Greece. At the end of the Charter of the Church given in the manuscript, after prayers at Easter was supposed to also read a prayer blessing eggs and cheese, and the father superior, kissing the brethren, had to give them Easter eggs with the words: «Christ is Risen!». According to manuscript «Nomocanon of Photius» (XIII century), the Abbot can punish that monk, who in the day of the Passover do not eat red eggs, for such is opposed to the Apostolic tradition. Thus, the custom of giving eggs at Easter has its origin from the Apostolic times, when Mary Magdalene first brought the believers the example of this joyful groprinosin.

The celebration of Easter in Russia was introduced in the late tenth century. Orthodox Easter is celebrated in us on the first Sunday following the vernal equinox and March full moon.

Easter in Russia was accompanied by ceremonies that came from pagan times but now consecrated by the Light of Christ. It is the consecration of Easter cakes, curd production, dyeing Easter eggs… Easter in a tub of wheat grain were placed Easter egg and took care of those seeds for planting.

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Easter coincides with the time when spring comes into its own. To this day as a sign of the flowering of old boiled eggs dyed in different colors. It was as if the flowers yarily-God, they laid on the green grass. Greens grown this way: take the hemp tow, fiber, wrapped in their grain poured on the plate every day, and for Easter they germinated grass. She laid her eggs, prepared meals, the meaning of which is Spring, Heat, Fire, Life, Love.

In Russia, according to researcher and collector of Russian folk traditions YP Mirolyubova, Easter has always had a universal, comprehensive character. On this day, enjoyed everything: heat, light, sky, earth, family, strangers… the feast of the Resurrection of Christ is the resurrection of nature, the renewal of life. Russian spring differs extraordinary tenderness, warmth and constancy, and Easter is itself the Grace of life. Because there is no death! It trampled on the one who rose from the grave on the Third Day.

Every nation has its holidays, but among them is the feast of feasts, the most important. This event in Russia for many centuries was Easter. The Church celebration is a truly great character. The Church gradually prepares for the joy of the Resurrection. The pre-Easter week is painted on days with rising pressure the religious life.

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Only have time to peep out the spring sun, nature comes to life, everything,» young and old» prepare with joy to celebrate the «feast of feasts and triumph of triumphs» – the Pascha of Christ, which is celebrated not earlier than March 22 and no later than April 25 (old calendar), on the first Sunday following the vernal equinox and March full moon. In many parts of Russia the day of Resurrection is called the great day, as it is believed, prove the greatness and Holiness of this festival after the Resurrection of Christ the sun does not set throughout Holy week, and the day of the great feast, therefore, is equal to seven ordinary days. The night of great Saturday is a beautiful, majestic sight, as in the capitals and everywhere in Russia, where there are Orthodox churches. Hurry through the fields, through meadows, through woods, on trails, on the roads of Orthodox and opozdanie to get into already crowded by the people of the temple are located around churches waiting for the procession.

In the Ukraine around the churches, bonfires, capitals are illuminated, and on the tower bells of churches glisten lighted torches. But here we heard the first bells big bells, the whole crowd stirred up, ignited in the hands of the Orthodox candles, and it seemed the clergy in bright vestments with crosses, banners, icons, and the voice of the Church choir ushers in great joy: «Thy Resurrection, o Christ Saviour, angels sing in heaven.» In Novgorod, after entering in procession at the North door, and passed against the solar currents, the Bishop marked the Korsun gate of the censer and aterial their cross, the choir sang: «Christ is risen from the dead, death by death come and skeleton belly gifts», is preserved hitherto in the Church life of believers. Similarly, under the old Charter, 3 songs of the Canon, the priest read the gospel sensible, the Saint in the altar during hristosovanie came to every priest; it was applied to the icons which they held, kissed them and gave them two eggs. Upon leaving the altar itself, in turn, received from the nobleman, the authorities and the people on the egg.

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In Moscow the solemn Service on Easter eve were made in the assumption Cathedral, in the presence of the king, gave its grandeur impressiveness and solemnity of ecclesiastical ceremonies in General are similar to these. At the door of the Cathedral was put in charge of the Streltsy colonels, who were obliged to ensure that the Cathedral could be entered only by those who were dressed in gold caftans. After kvalitnich stichera of the Emperor was applied to the images brought to it by the clergy, and created kissing lips with the older, and the youngest complained his hands and was wearing red or Golden eggs, or chicken or goose, or wood, chiseled, painted in gold with bright colors depicting flowers, birds and animals. Then to kiss the Royal hands came the nobles in the ranks, first to senior. After Matins, the Emperor was in the Cathedral of the Archangel «triple kiss with their parents», i.e. to worship their ashes. In the court of the Annunciation Cathedral he Easter greetings «mouth» with his spiritual father, and also bestowed it and the other eggs. Likewise he did the same and at the top, i.e. in the Palace, Easter greetings to the nobles that were «for energy-saving issues» of the Royal family during the sovereign’s access to the cathedrals. In the Golden chamber of the glorified Christ spiritual power too much, and then the king marched to congratulate the Queen with the children. With them he usually listened to mass in one of the Palace churches, and the later mass went to the Cathedral of the assumption in all the regalia. After this the mass of all men, not excluding any kind of masters, happy king for its high attention, allowing them to hand.

On the first day of Easter St. king went to prison and showing him the best example of Christian humility and mercy, saying to the prisoners: «Christ is risen for you,» and bestowed upon each a new coat, or shirt, etc. and sent food for the day: «the best part hot, Yes, and they also ostalnym all part cooked, part lamb, part of ham; porridge from cereals Grishkevich and pies with eggs or meat, which is decent. Yes man buy bread Yes loaf duderino». More docile and less guilty criminals were given three cups, and the rest two, two and one Cup honey. And in the Golden chamber of Tsaritsyno at this time, the fed poverty-stricken brethren.

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From Novgorod and Moscow history referring to the present time and take a quick look to celebrate the «big day» on Mother Russia. During the singing of the troparion profetisa celebration and each other’s embrace, begins the three-fold kiss and greeting each other with «Christ is Risen!» and the response «Truly he is Risen», and otdelyvayut each other eggs, called depending on the method of dyeing: hand-painted «Easter eggs,» painted «krashenki». Their difference is that eggs used for hard boiled eggs, which are then eaten, and Easter eggs – raw and definitely fertilized. Later, there were eggs made of wood (they were called «acatemy»), porcelain, silver, jewelry, enamel, beads, precious stones. Ways to color Easter eggs, many in the tradition are interwoven with fantasy, fiction artists. Special respect for the people Easter egg derived first: it has the ability to open evil spirits, it will never go bad until next year. Of course, we are talking about those Easter eggs that are made from wood and stone, glass, crystal and porcelain and is designed to hold in the «red corner» – in front of icons and candles.

The tradition of exchanging painted eggs at Easter in Russia has deep roots. It is known that during the reign of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich for distribution at Easter was cooked up to 37 thousand Easter eggs. Along with natural (chicken, Swan, goose, pigeon, duck) colored eggs were wooden and bone, carved and painted. Of course, a kind of benchmark for the size of eggs from wood, bone, porcelain, glass, stone was the size of the eggs natural.

© E. V. solodyankina, 2000WITH the «kiss of peace» in the Ukraine involves a lot of superstition, like, for example, that if the first greeting «Christ is Risen» do not reply «Truly he is Risen», and to conceive any wish, it will surely come. Returning home after the Easter Matins, the people admiring the rising sun playing in the sky and share the General rejoicing and of nature and people in a reborn life. In the middle zone of Russia the children sing the song facing the sun: the sun, the bucket, look out the window! Sun, potatis, red, outfit, etc.

And the old man comb your hair with the wish that they had as many grandchildren as the hair on the head; wash woman with gold, silver and red egg hoping to strike it rich, and the young climb on the roof to better see how to play and have fun red sun.

In homes and huts, to the time the family returned from Church, from Matins, already set the table with all sorts of dishes for the breaking, special the abundance is different in the Ukraine, where the bad owner does not ostavit table suckling pig, sausage, and Easter krashenki, and of the wealthy landowners and say nothing – there is no way to list all the food and drink that adorn the Easter table. Like Christmas and Easter week clergy goes home to glorify Christ. Worldly people – guys parties for 10-15 people leading or «machinesystem» led go to the villages with velocissimi songs resembling Christmas carols and sing them under the Windows and sometimes come in the house order to enjoy. From the owners commonly get singing spring songs and the fried and boiled or even money and divide between the members of the choir. Sometimes the party singing spring songs accompanied by a musician with a violin or Fife.

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Also accompanied by Easter games with Easter eggsthat have made Russia one of the main festive entertainment. The Slavs there are several types of such games, but the most widespread was the Easter egg roll on the ground with bumps or with a special tray. The essence of the game was to roll the egg off the pan and hit them with another one of those that were lying down; when it succeeded, the man took an egg from the ground.

Ancient traditions preserved to the present day. A lot of people are once again fills the Church during the Easter service, restored and opened dedicated to the celebration of the ancient Church. As centuries ago, many families on Thursday on the Holy week and paint eggs on good Friday, house full of smells of baking cakes.

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