The tradition of dyeing eggs – what are the origins of
The tradition of dyeing eggs for Easter goes back almost two thousand years. It is now impossible to determine why the decoration of Easter eggs with their hands has become so common in the Christian world. There are many legends explaining this custom. Not all interpretations are related directly to the Resurrection of Christ and all of Christianity. Most of them are related to pagan times, when the egg was considered a symbol of fertility. With the arrival of spring in ancient times started to paint eggs, decorate them in all sorts of ways to appease the gods and to grow a good crop.
But there are many Christian legends, which tells of the beginning of this centuries-old tradition. The most common is the legend of Mary Magdalene, which brought the Emperor Tiberius after the resurrection of Jesus a chicken egg. He didn't believe her story about the Resurrection, saying that such will be possible if you brought the egg red. Immediately it turned, and the red color has since become a tradition to decorate Easter eggs.
According to another legend, red Easter eggs is the blood of the crucified Christ and the wonderful patterns on them – the tears of the mother of God. After the death of the Lord, believers are saved every fallen drop of his blood, which was hard as a rock. When he rose, began to pass them to each other with the joyful tidings "Christ is risen!"
The third version tells of the childhood of Jesus Christ, who loved playing with the chickens. Their eggs the mother of God was painted and given to him instead of toys. Pleading for pardon, she came to Pontius Pilate with the offering of painted eggs. But they fell out of her apron and rolled down all around the world.
There are legends, and not related to religion. For example, one of them tells that on the day of birth of Marcus Aurelius chicken laid an egg with red spots. This event was a foreshadowing of the birth of the future Emperor. Since the Romans originated the custom of dyeing eggs and send them to each other as a gift. The Christians have adopted this tradition, giving it its meaning.
There is a more practical explanation. During Lent forbidden to eat animal food, including eggs. But the chickens continue laying. To longer eggs are not spoiled, they cooked. And to distinguish boiled from raw eggs, they were stained.
Be that as it may, the tradition of dyeing eggs has reached our days, collecting all the family. Many customs, ceremonies and superstitions of the Christians connected with the already colored eggs. Consecrated the Easter egg was even attributed to mystical properties. It was thought that it can extinguish the fire, prevent disease of cattle and make its fur smooth, to return a loved one, to save from theft, to drive home the evil spirits. Dropping an egg into water, the girls washed with this water, to save youth and beauty. Shells of Easter eggs were scattered across the field, the harvest was good.
Hardly anyone will be able to accurately prove or disprove the miraculous power of Easter eggs, but some of the traditions of antiquity has reached us. Still a favorite pastime of children for the Easter week skiing remains of the painted eggs down the hill. Passover begins with them, and friends give a the most beautiful eggs from the good news "Christ is risen!"