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Today is “E” day – so because it is Holy Week (and I am willing to bet that I am not the only one who has chosen to use at least one of these two “E” words), todays theme is the Easter Egg.”

Photo: tetyonearth.tumblr.com

Here’s about everything you need to know about the “Easter Egg” tradition – courtesy of Wikipedia.

“Easter eggs are special eggs that are often given to celebrate Easter or springtime.

The oldest tradition is to use dyed or painted chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with confectionery such as jelly beans. These eggs can be hidden for children to find on Easter morning, who may be told they were left by the Easter Bunny. They also may be put in a basket filled with real or artificial straw to resemble a bird’s nest.

The Easter egg tradition may also have merged into the celebration of the end of the privations of Lent in the West. Historically, it was traditional to use up all of the household’s eggs before Lent began. Eggs were originally forbidden during Lent as well as on other traditional fast days in Western Christianity (this tradition still continues among the Eastern Christian Churches). Likewise, in Eastern Christianity, both meat and dairy are prohibited during the Lenten fast, and eggs are seen as “dairy” (a foodstuff that could be taken from an animal without shedding its blood). This established the tradition of Pancake Day being celebrated on Shrove Tuesday. This day, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins, is also known as Mardi Gras, a French phrase which translates as “Fat Tuesday” to mark the last consumption of eggs and dairy before Lent begins.

In the Orthodox Church, Great Lent begins on Clean Monday, rather than Wednesday, so the household’s dairy products would be used up in the preceding week, called Cheesefare Week. During Lent, since chickens would not stop producing eggs during this time, a larger than usual store might be available at the end of the fast if the eggs had not been allowed to hatch. The surplus, if any, had to be eaten quickly to prevent spoiling. Then, with the coming of Easter, Pascha the eating of eggs resumes.

One would have been forced to hard boil the eggs that the chickens produced so as not to waste food, and for this reason the Spanish dish hornazo (traditionally eaten on and around Easter) contains hard-boiled eggs as a primary ingredient. In Hungary, Easter eggs are used sliced in potato casseroles around the Easter period.”

So there you have a bit of the history.  There is much more technical stuff you can find on the internet or at the library, but if there is anyone out there in the Blogosphere who is not familiar with this tradition – once sacred, and now largely secularized – the info above at least fills you in a bit on its origins.  The Easter Bunny is another story altogether.  You all can look that one up for yourself!  But I can’t close this Challenge entry without just a little something original:

Easter

At the core of everything
Each particle of God’s creation
There lies the heart within the heart
The seed within the seed.
In the seed is the idea
God planted in the beginning.
Before all things were created
There was eternity, and before eternity
There is God –

There is intention in all things
There is progression,
a great evolution –
from nothing to everything
from darkness to light,
from birth to death and
death to new birth.
Within each birth,
There is God –

Calling us, teaching
Live the intention.
Emerge from the cocoon
Break the shell of the egg.
In all there is ending,
Making way for beginning.
Within each egg, Easter.
Within Easter, creation,
Within all of Creation
There is God.

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For all my Gentle Readers, I wish a life of new beginnings, every day a resurrection, every night a benediction, and every morning new hope, new birth, a promise kept, and the abundance of enough. . .

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