At Easter time, people all over the world paint Easter eggs and prepare for Easter with a variety of traditions. But why do we actually celebrate Easter? Where do these traditions come from and what do they mean?
In Christianity, Easter has been observed for almost 2,000 years and celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter falls on a different date every year, as in the Western church it takes its lead from Jewish festival of Passover. It falls on the Sunday after the first full moon of spring. This means that at its earliest Easter falls on March 22 and at its latest April 25.
People have been decorating egg shells long before Christianity came to be. The oldest grave finds were 60,000-year-old ostrich eggs from southern Africa. Decorated ostrich eggs dating back thousands of years have also been found in ancient tombs in Egypt, where the egg was revered as the origin of the world in ancient times. The egg was also the symbol of rebirth and new beginnings in the Greece and Rome of antiquity.
This age-old symbolism was later adopted by Christianity. In the Christian tradition, the egg represents resurrection. Painting eggs has been an established tradition in Germany since the beginning of the 13th century, when they were painted red in memory of the blood of Christ. In the Middle Ages, people also observed a strict, forty-day fast which began on Ash Wednesday and ended on Good Friday. During this period of abstinence, indulging in any creature comforts, eating meat, and even eggs were strictly forbidden. But that, of course, didn't stop the hens from laying. In fact, quite the opposite is true, as hens lay quite a lot of eggs at this time of year. To make the eggs last longer, they were hard-boiled and painted red with onion stock or red beets, which prevented them from getting mixed up with fresh eggs once Lent was over. It was not until much later that people started painting eggs in different colors too.
In the 19th century, Easter gradually turned into a family celebration. Parents gave painted eggs to their children as presents and started to hide them. And this is when the Easter Bunny ultimately came into the mix, as, of course, someone had to be responsible for bringing and hiding all the eggs.
Easter special: BINDER Easter egg hunt
The Easter Bunny has also hidden a BINDER Easter egg for you on our website. Note down the model name of the simulation chamber where the BINDER Easter egg is hiding and send your answer with your full name and address to email@example.com. You could win one of three tabletop kettle grills – just in time for the start of the BBQ season.