The History of
The egg has always been a symbol of the new birth of Spring. In many ancient civilizations they believed that the world started with a huge egg.
The Goddess Eostre , was most likely who Easter is named after. She was not a Greek goddess but the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring.
Eostre had a special fondness for children.
The most common belief is that this is where the name Easter came from.
Children followed Eoster wherever she went, as she loved to sing and entertain them with magic. One day, while sitting in a garden with her tag-a long children, a lovely songbird fluttered down to sit on her hand.
Instead, it had been changed into a mute, defenseless, unhappy creature, unable to defend itself against predators, be they animal or human.
The children begged Eostre to reverse the spell, but having broken the "as ye harm none, do as ye will" rule,( a rule in Wiccan belief) she found her power diminished to a point where she was no longer able to do so. Thus the former bird must remain a rabbit for the most part of the year.
Except at the onset of spring, when Eostre's power is at its height,then the rabbit can return to its bird-form for a short while and lay its eggs. In celebration of its brief freedom and to reward the children who asked the Goddess to undo the spell,
Eostre's rabbit carries its eggs to children throughout the world.To remind the world of her folly, Eostre herself etched the outline of a rabbit into the face of the full moon, where you can see it facing left with its ears going back to the right. Thus it soars safely against the sky, far removed from the perils that threaten it down here on Earth.
Eggs it is believed have also played a part in Jewish tradition
After a long lenten fast it was great to celebrate with a nice fresh egg.
At the Jewish Passover Seder, a hard-boiled egg dipped in salt water symbolizes the Passover sacrifice offered at the Temple in Jerusalem.
Coloring Eggs has been a long tradition as a way to ehance their value.
Many cultures have thought that decorating eggs for easter enhanced their value.
Edward I of England showed an expenditure of eighteen pence for 450 eggs to be gold-leafed and colored for Easter gifts.
The Easter egg hunt and other Easter games around the world
The traditional egg game on Easter in the United Sates as well as other countries is to hide eggs real and candy both indoors and outdoors and let the children go find them.
Egg Tapping, ...Dumping or ...Jarping.
In the North of England, at Eastertime, a traditional game is played where hard boiled pace eggs are distributed and each player hits the other player's egg with their own. This is known as "egg tapping", "egg dumping" or "egg jarping". The winner is the holder of the last intact egg. The losers get to eat their eggs. The annual egg jarping world championship is held every year over Easter in Peterlee Cricket Club.
Ostereiertitschen or Eierpecken.
It is also practiced in Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, Lebanon, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, and other countries. They call it tucanje. In parts of Austria, Bavaria and German-speaking Switzerland it is called Ostereiertitschen or Eierpecken.
In South Louisiana this practice is called Pocking Eggs and is slightly different. The Cajuns hold that the winner eats the eggs of the losers in each round.
Egg rolling is also a traditional Easter egg game played with eggs at Easter. In England, Germany, and other countries children traditionally rolled eggs down hillsides at Easter.
It was started as a symbol of rolling away the stones of the tomb of Jesus, many believe.
This tradition, was taken to the New World by European settlers. Different nations have different versions of the game.
Egg dance is a traditional Easter game in which eggs are laid on the ground or floor and the goal is to dance among them without damaging any eggs which originated in Germany. In the UK the dance is called the hop-egg.
The Pace Egg plays are traditional village plays, with a rebirth theme. The drama takes the form of a combat between the hero and villain, in which the hero is killed and brought to life, The plays take place in England during Easter.
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