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History and Origin of the Tradition of Easter Egg
The glorious holiday of Easter is rich with meaning, history and traditions. One of the attributes of every Easter celebration, both Orthodox and Catholic, is Easter Egg. Egg played a v...
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History and Origin of the Tradition of Easter Egg

The glorious holiday of Easter is rich with meaning, history and traditions.
    One of the attributes of every Easter celebration, both Orthodox and Catholic, is Easter Egg.
    Egg played a very important role in the daily life of our ancestors. It has been a symbol of wellness, prosperity and love for a long time. But most importantly, Egg is a symbol of life; it is a source of life. Itís been presented as a gift for ages on many different occasions. Painted in bright colors, decorated with pressures metals and stones, it was often given to newlyweds to symbolize the beginning of their new life together, as a new family. It was also said to ensure fertility. Presented to children, it represented love and security. As a gift of friend to friend-it showed simply the affection and respect that lay deep in the heart of the giver.
    The tradition of the Easter egg dates back to the early days of Christianity, when Mary Magdalene presented the Roman emperor Tuberous with an egg as an Easter present. Mary chose egg as a gift, since, as we mentioned earlier, in many cultures, an egg was the symbol of life, an eternal life. Refusing to believe Marys story of Christs resurrection, the emperor said: "Resurrection is as impossible as this eggs turning red". At that moment, the egg he was holding turned red to prove Marys words. This is how the tradition of exchanging the colored eggs on Easter began among the Russian Orthodox followers.
     With time, this tradition gave life to a whole new craft and a group of artist, who created decorated eggs out of different materials. These eggs could last longer than the regular egg dyed with natural pigments. Wooden eggs were created and then painted with Bible scenes by skillful masters. Even nowadays, one can find the most outstanding examples of the work by the artist of Moscow armory. In the times of Peter the Great, new materials appeared in Russia. It started a new period in the history of the creation of the decorated eggs. Eggs made out of porcelain and paper-mache started appearing at that time. They would also be painted either with the traditional Biblical scenes or just with ornaments or local scenery. Some artists, who previously specialized on the creating lacquer boxes and were proficient in the miniature painting already, were quick to pick up this new trend. Some of them painted porcelain eggs for the Russian Royal family, and some decorated papier-m?ch? eggs produced in their village of Mstera.
    The popularity of this craft among artists is not surprising. It was considered a good dead to pay a higher price for the egg, as an Easter gift for the artist and his family.
     According to Russian Orthodox Easter traditions, on the Easter day people were to exchange eggs. Family members would exchange among themselves and with all the visitors at their house. Royal family distributed the eggs painted for them among themselves, to be later exchanged with any visitors on that day. The tradition also requires an exchange of exclamations stating the triumph of Christ over the death, a triple kiss and an exchange of presents, mostly eggs.


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