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Easter eggs are an important symbol for many Christians, particularly those in the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic faiths. The egg represents a rebirth or a renewal: the yoke symbolizes Jesus and the outer shell symbolizes the tomb. In the Orthodox faith, the eggs are dyed red to represent Jesus' blood.
During the forty days before Easter, called Lent, Christians are encouraged to refrain from eating fatty foods. Some even abstain from eating meat and eggs. Then, on Easter Sunday, they celebrate by eating eggs again.
The Eastern Egg Roll, started by Christians in Europe, represents the rolling away of the stone from Jesus' tomb. The President has staged an Easter Egg Roll every year at the White House for 135 years. This year, he will host 35,000 people from all 50 states.
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Decorating Easter eggs was a tradition in England during the Middle Ages. Russian royalty gave each other jewel encrusted Faberge eggs in the 1800's. Ukrainians paint beautiful designs on their Easter eggs.
So as you boil eggs and decorate them with your children, think of the history of these oval shaped, yoke-filled shells.
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