(NC)—Ever wonder what the big deal is with eggs at Easter? We paint them, eat ones made out of chocolate, and send cards with them on it. And, while we have come to accept the curious sight of a large Easter Bunny carry a basket of eggs – most of us don’t know exactly why the egg has taken on this role.
Since ancient days, the egg has been the symbol of new life. Even before it became entwined with the Christian Easter, eggs were used by Romans, Chinese, and Egyptians in rite–of–spring festivals as a way to celebrate the dawn of a new season.
In Pagan times, the egg represented the rebirth of Earth and was seen to have magical powers that would bless the start of the growing season – they were even buried amongst crops.
In the western context, eggs were originally forbidden during Lent as well as other traditional spring fasting days in western Christianity. But since chickens would not stop producing eggs, the end of the fast meant there was an unusually large surplus of eggs that needed to be eaten just in time for Easter.
Today, charities like Christian Children’s Fund of Canada, an international children’s charity, let you share in the tradition of the egg by providing baby chicks to a family in a poverty–stricken country. The chicks will lay eggs and provide the family with food and a source of income for years to come. So rather than buying more chocolate eggs or another stuffed toy, why not share in the tradition of the Easter egg and give the gift of new life at www.ccfcanada.ca.
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