Here’s my eggs-clusive eggs-pose’ on Easter eggs.
Long before the egg was associated with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Egyptians believed that the sun was hatched from an eggs-tremely large egg. The Romans, Gauls (French), Chinese, Egyptians and Persians all eggs-alted the egg as a symbol of the universe and the rebirth of the earth each spring.
From ancient times the egg was thought to have eggs-ceptional powers. Eggs were buried under the foundations of buildings to ward off evil, Roman women thought eggs could divine the gender of their unborn babies, and in France, brides stepped on an egg before crossing the threshold of their new home. Colored eggs were used as gifts on the first day of spring in Egypt, Persia, Greece, and Rome. And, instead of sending Valentines, ancient couples would eggs-press their love by eggs-changing decorated eggs.
Christians of the Near East adapted the Easter egg tradition, making it a religious symbol of the tomb from which Christ broke forth. Often colored red, the Easter eggs were symbolic of Christ’s shed blood.
It’s believed that these eggs-traordinary ideas of eggs were introduced to Western Europe during the fifteenth century by knights returning from the Crusades. During this time, many people believed that eggs laid on Good Friday, if kept for a hundred years, would have their yolks turn to diamond (of course, since life eggs-pectancy was around 30 years, no one was around to dispute this claim).
And some eggs-tra information on Easter eggs.
The annual White House Easter Egg Roll began during the Presidency of James Madison (1809-1817). First Lady Dolly Madison was fascinated to learn that Egyptian children rolled colored eggs on the site of the Pyramids and she felt children of the Washington area would enjoy this activity. It was originally held on the grounds of the Capitol, but eventually legislators became eggs-asperated by broken eggs littering the lawn.
So, in 1878 President Hayes and his wife Lucy offered White House grounds for the Monday-after-Easter event. It’s been held on the South Lawn ever since, except during World War I and World War II when it was held at the National Zoo and other Washington locations.
The most egg-spensive Easter eggs were made by jewelers from The House of Faberge. Russian Czar Alexander III commissioned the first Faberge egg in 1886 as an Easter gift for his wife, Czarina. Carl Faberge, for whom the eggs-quiste works of art are named, never made a single egg. Two employees, master jewelers Michael Evlampievich Perchin and Henrik Wigstrom, actually designed and crafted the eggs. During the Russian Revolution, in 1918, the Bolsheviks shut down the jewelry workshop. In 1994, capitalists sold the “Winter Egg” by Faberge for $5.5 million!
The largest Easter egg ever made was created in South Africa. The eggs-ceptional egg, made entirely of marshmallow and chocolate, weighed 4,068 kilos (over four tons) and reached a height of 7.65 metres (nearly 24 feet).
Easter eggs have now entered the virtual world. “Easter Eggs” are surprises hidden in word processing, spreadsheets and video games programs. Programmers for major software companies hide them as secret signatures of their work or just to have fun while making $50 per hour. For instance, if you know the secret codes (available at numerous Web sites such as www.eggheaven2000.com) Internet Explorer 5 will display an egg out of which a gorilla jumps to announce “IE rocks!”
So, while your little brother, kids, or nieces and nephews are dying eggs—and their hands, and their clothes, and kitchen counter—you may want to tell them about the meaning behind the mulit-colored mess.
For the not-so-religious, they celebrate the coming of spring. For computer geeks, they offer something to do while spending another Friday night alone. And for Christians, they represent eternal life through Christ’s resurrection.
Have a egg-citing Easter and please eggs-cuse the egg-cessive use of puns.
Copyright © 2003 James N. Watkins
• Easter Hope & Humor