Where Do the Easter Eggs Come From?

It used to be when I heard Americans talk about Easter eggs, they would always say, “Oh, I think they come from some old European pagan holiday.”  That is not what I heard when I lived in Europe.  According to religious tradition, not Bible, the Easter eggs have their roots in Christianity.  I lived in Romania for 8 years. While there, I taught at the Orthodox seminary.  The Orthodox say they are the original church.  They use the Bible and 20 other books that are full of traditional stories and teachings.  An Orthodox told me this story, so it is tradition that probably came from one of those 20 other books.  This is how it goes:

grayscale photo of the crucifix
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Jesus was hanging on the cross.  Mary was standing below crying holding a basket of eggs.  As she stood there, his blood was dripping, and some of it dripped on her eggs.  When she got home, she realized there was blood on her eggs. She didn’t want to clean it off because it was the blood of Christ.

red orange and green printed eggs screenshot
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The next year, on the anniversary of his death, she decided to color her eggs red again as a memorial to Jesus.  She kept doing it year after year on the anniversary of his death.  People saw what she was doing and liked it. Other people began coloring their eggs red also.  Eventually, they began adding other colors and some really painted the eggs fancy.

red easter egg flower
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In Romania, along with all the fancy eggs they paint, and they paint some of the fanciest eggs in the world, they also paint some of their eggs just red to symbolize the blood of Christ.  In America, I have never seen a red egg. The American eggs are usually pastel colored, but the Romanians always have eggs that are colored completely bright red, and they call all their Easter eggs “red eggs.”  They set the red eggs in a special place and emphasize that the red one is more special than the others because it is the color of the blood of Christ.

red blue yellow colorful
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This story isn’t in the Bible, but the Orthodox Christians tell it.  I like it because it is much better to believe that our nice traditions have their basis in Christianity rather than in a pagan tradition that we don’t understand.

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