Easter Eggs are colored to keep memory and glorify the miracle when egg turned blood red in the arm of the Roman Emperor right after he disputed the story of Jesus’s resurrection. It is why this custom came to life.
Mary Magdalene Confronts Roman Emperor
There are multiple versions of colored easter egg origin stories. The most prevalent is the one in which, after Jesus’s resurrection and ascending to heaven, Mary Magdalene gets the audience with the Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar. Respecting the prevalent tradition of bringing a gift to the mighty ruler of the world’s greatest force, Mary chose to carry an egg. Magdalene expressed her anger and pain with Pilate’s decision to crucify an innocent man and grant the freedom to the murderer Barabbas. Then, she explained the nature of her gift. It was a symbol of new life because, she exclaimed: “Jesus has risen!” Caesar didn’t believe in that. His reply was: “How could any man rise from the dead? It is as impossible as it would be for that egg to change from white to red.” It was the moment in which the egg in Caesar’s hand became blood red. It is believed that this meeting induced Caesar to remove Pontius Pilate from his position in Judea.
What About the Easter Bunny?
In modern-day, Easter couldn’t be imagined without the Easter bunny. But the Bible mentions no white hares related to Jesus’s resurrection and colored eggs. Who was the first easter bunny and how he came to be is the question answered in the history of heathen Germanic tribes from which the custom spread across the globe.
Miracle From the Tomb
Another version of the story says that Mary, accompanied by her friend, went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’s body. With her, she brought a basket of hard-boiled eggs so the two of them could have a few bites of food along the way. It was Easter Sunday morning. When they came in front of the tomb a miracle occurred. Jesus, the man who was crucified and pierced with the sharp spear right through his heart, was alive. While he was ascending to the sky, in the moments of resurrection, the eggs in the basket changed their color and became red.
Roman Invention – Conspiracy Theory
Another story, which is a conspiracy theory, states that the Romans themselves were inventors of Jesus Christ and Easter egg coloring tradition. Heathen religions had many gods from which numerous worshiping fractions came to existence. Despite having high priests it was hard to manage them all and gather under one undisputed leadership. As a single God religion, Christianity was suitable for establishing centralization in governing spiritual life. In addition, it promoted modesty which lowered the ability of civil war caused by wealth differences. It is why Romans decided to give it a boost and allow the spreading of the story about Jesus’s resurrection, Mary Magdalene and eggs that changed color. This point of view makes it very likely that Caesar and Mary made a scene with the egg transforming its color to blood red.
Throughout history, in many cultures with developed religions regardless of being a symbol in single or multi God creed, eggs had prominent positions and meaning. They represented the endless circle of life. Some cultures observed them as symbols of resurrection while numerous fates associated them with the universe. By such observances, the egg was perceived as the primordial source of creation from which the mere cosmos, together with all of its deities, came to exist. Hindu, Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Syrian, Persian, and Finnish were all the cultures in which egg had a prominent position in explaining the origins of the cosmos. Studying cosmogonies of the old cultures resulted in an unusual classification. According to data extracted from researches, there are three types of eggs:
- Eternal egg.
- Virgin egg.
- Mundane egg.
Everything starts with this entity. Its existence is referred to as zero condition. It had no attributes or qualities. However, its description explains it to be an unchanging matter. The eternal egg was fecundated by the ray of logos(God’s word) which led to the creation of the virgin egg.
Virgin egg comes to existence after the ray of logos penetrated the eternal egg. It corresponds to chaos also referred to as a Virgin Mother or primeval deep. This egg is eternal and unchangeable as it represents the power to develop through fecundation. After being fecundated the virgin egg falls to the plain of manifestation where it becomes Mundane egg.
Mundane or world egg is the stage were manifestation begins. Here the potential existence of potency emerges to existence. A germ in the form of spiritual impulse is invoked in the mundane egg. It develops into the second logos which is observed as an abstract triangle. From this, a whole existence emerges. The mundane Egg is also cold the golden egg and the golden womb.
While the explanation of egg types does not directly answer the question of why easter eggs are colored, it elaborates the most important foundation of almost every egg-related custom. These kinds of interpretations were present in many cultures that had no contact with each other. It means that there were both independent and spontaneous inclinations towards rising egg on a high position in the symbolism hierarchy. Such deep roots are hard if not impossible to negate. Ignoring them would not be wise. Therefore, it is very likely that church, respecting their expansion tradition by which many heathen gods were converted to saints, transformed the egg cosmogony of the ancient cultures to the story suitable to be integrated into the content of the Bible. The only way for a new creed to grow its followers was to target the present beliefs of people and remake them in a more attractive manner. The resurrection of the Messiah and the promise of eternal welfare in heaven for those who chose to be good during their lifetimes showed as an effective invitation. Pushing eggs that change color into the story and connecting them with resurrection was no coincidence but a well-planned maneuver which can also be one of the possible answers to the question: “Why are eggs colored on Easter?” In less than three centuries after the appearance of Jesus Christ, Christianity became the main religion of the Roman empire – the greatest force of the heathen world thousands of years old. Such an outcome took place only do to choice which used old customs as foundations for building new ones.