Easter eggs or spring eggs have been given as gifts to celebrate Easter or springtime for centuries. They have long been a symbol of the “start of life.” The pagans thought the egg was a symbol of the rebirth of the Earth and fertility, in celebration of the vernal equinox. The idea was later adopted by the Christians.
The Easter egg tradition may also have emerged as a celebration of the end of Lent. They were forbidden during Lent. Consumption resumed on Easter, the end of Lent.
The egg is the most identifiable symbol of Easter. Easter eggs were originally painted with bright colors representing spring and sunlight. Different cultures around the world adopted their own techniques for creating beautiful and unique icons of fertility.
Eggs in Austria were designed with patterns by attaching ferns and other small plants around the egg before boiling. A white pattern would be left on the shells after the plants were removed.
Hanacke kraslice, or Easter eggs from the Czech Republic, are decorated with straw. This technique takes pieces of straw that are cut, curled and shaped and glued to the eggs, forming different patterns.
In the United States, eggs are typically dyed with many different colors. They can be hand painted or dipped into cups of dyed vinegar and water.
Now you have all these dyed and decorated eggs, what do you do with them? That will depend on where you live. In the United States, children are visited by the Easter bunny. In our house he would hide the Easter eggs that we had colored, along with leaving a basket filled with candy and other treats for each child.
The Easter egg hunt is a much anticipated event and celebrated in homes across the country and an annual event at the White House lawn in Washington, D.C.
In northern England, “egg tapping” is a popular game around Easter time. Boiled and dyed, Easter eggs or “pace eggs” are passed out to players, who then roll their egg into another player’s egg. The player with the last unbroken egg is the winner.
To make perfect Easter eggs you must start with the perfect boiled egg.
Have eggs at room temperature before cooking to prevent cracking. Make sure eggs are completely covered with cold water.
- Cover the eggs with completely with cold water.
- Bring to a boil.
- Cover and remove pan from heat. Let stand for 25 minutes.
- Remove eggs from water and let cool completely before decorating.
Voila! The perfect hard boiled eggs for decorating.