Have you ever painted Easter eggs? We used to do this every year with our children, and my husband still loves painting Easter eggs. It is a great way to express yourself artistically in a simple way. But the Easter egg is far more than that. Some people think that Easter is a pagan tradition and don’t like to celebrate the many fun activities of the holiday such as painting eggs, Easter egg hunts or visiting the Easter Bunny. But there is little evidence to back up the theory that Easter is pagan.
In fact, Easter has been rooted in Christianity since the fifteenth century. There are even legends dating back to the Bible surrounding Easter eggs. It was told that Mary Magdalene witnessed to the Emperor of Rome telling him that Christ was risen. The Emperor laughed at her, pointed at an egg on the table and said that Christ was no more risen than that egg is red. Immediately the story goes the egg turned red and Mary told the Gospel to the Emperor. Red eggs were often used to tell the Gospel story. Eggs were also used to represent the death and resurrection of Christ by peeling the shell off the egg.
Eggs were forbidden during the Lenten Season and so eggs laid during this time were often hard boiled and then eaten at Easter. Gifts of eggs were given to children. During the Passover a hard boiled egg is dipped in salt water in the Seder to represent new life and the Passover Sacrifice.
There is an interesting tradition every year at the White House called egg rolling where children roll eggs on the White House lawn. Beautifully decorated eggs are made in the Ukraine and are called Pysanka.
In our house eggs are only painted with Hinkle’s egg dye. No other dye will do. Egg painting is a wonderful tradition that can be used to teach the Gospel, and the hard boiled egg is often used to teach the concept of the trinity. Painting Easter eggs are fun for children of all ages.