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The Egg of Many Colors : The Journey from Pagan Festivals to Easter
The Egg of Many Colors : The Journey from Pagan Festivals to Easter
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Author(s): Howarth, Shirley Reiff
ISBN No.: 9780943488141
Pages: 80
Year: 203704
Format: Trade Paper
Price: £33.63
Dispatch delay: Dispatched between 7 to 15 days
Status: Available (Active record)

For thousands of years, the egg has been a powerful and ancient symbol of rebirth and the celebration of the Spring equinox, and today, most historians believe that the holiday of Easter and the practice of decorating and coloring eggshells has its roots in ancient pagan culture. Sumerian, Babylonian, Persian, and pre-dynastic Egyptian cultures all celebrated the return of Spring and these cultural relationships probably influenced early Christian and Islamic cultures in those regions, as they were spread through trade, religion, and political links from the areas around the Mediterranean. 60,000 year old engraved ostrich eggshells have been discovered in South Africa , decorated with engraved hatched patterns. There is evidence that, even in ancient Roman culture, eggs decorated with vegetable dyes using onion skins, beets, and carrots were given as gifts during the spring festivals. in Persia and present day Iran, the celebration of the New Year, incorporates colored eggs as part of the ceremonial Nowruz table. This 13-day spring festival falls on or around the vernal equinox in March and is believed to have originated in modern day Iran as part of the Zoroastrian religion.One theory for the name Easter, is that it probably came from Eastre, the Saxon name of the goddess of spring and fertility, Her festival was celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox; traditions associated with the festival survive in the Easter rabbit, a symbol of fertility, and in colored Easter eggs. Civilizations worldwide have created rituals to celebrate a fertile spring, a time of renewal, regeneration and resurrection.


Newer legends blended folklore and Christian beliefs and like the holiday of Easter itself, the art and craft of decorating eggs with different colors has also evolved over time.


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