Easter egg - a symbol of Easter

In Republic of Macedonia, the most common religion is Orthodox Christianity, practiced by most of the ethnic Macedonians (around 70% of the population).
These days, orthodox Christians are intensively preparing for one of the most joyful Christian holidays - Easter, the feast of Christ's Resurrection. With open hearts, calm and joy,  believers celebrate the return of Jesus Christ from the dead and the victory over death, greeting with the words "Christ is Risen - Truly He is risen!".

The egg is the most popular symbol of the brightest Christian holiday. Traditionally before Easter every home paints eggs which symbolize the resurrection and the beginning of a new life. It is one of the most beautiful and joyful Orthodox traditions that cherish to this day.

What does Easter egg symbolize?

The egg has always been considered a symbol of rebirth and was associated with the revival of nature. In many cultures, the egg became synonym for fertility and in the past there were beliefs that the whole universe was created from a giant egg. It is thought that this notion stems from the Latin proverb "Omne vivum ex ovo" which means "All life comes from an egg."
My Easter eggs in 2010

In Christianity, Easter egg symbolizes Christ's Resurrection. Hard shell of the egg represents the tomb of Jesus and breaking of eggs symbolizes the resurrection from the dead. Therefore, when we give someone an Easter egg, we salute him with the words "Christ is risen."

Easter eggs are traditionally painted and decorated. In Western culture, coloring eggs has gradually began to be replaced by buying chocolate eggs and plastic eggs filled with candies, but in our culture, tradition of dyeing eggs is highly cherished.

When Easter eggs are dyed?

Easter eggs are painted and decorated on Maundy Thursday. The first egg is painted before sunrise, because it is believed that it won't spoil and that it will last all year if it doesn't "see" the sun. Housewives dye three eggs in red in the morning.

With the first egg the housewife draws a cross for health on the face of the children with the words "Red, white, thick" or "Red, white, healthy and alive." That egg is considered to have protective powers and it is kept in a special place in the house until the next Easter.
My Easter eggs in 2015

The number of painted eggs depends on the number of family members, but eggs are painted and for every guest who will come to the house.

Why first eggs should be red?

The red color symbolizes the shed blood of Jesus for salvation of people on Earth and also represents victory, health, optimism and love.
There are many legends that explain the meaning of the red egg and why it has the greatest power. According to one of them, when Mary Magdalene saw Jesus after his resurrection, she carried basket with eggs to give to the other women. The moment she saw Jesus, eggs were painted in perfect red color.
According to another legend, while Jesus was crucified, at the foot of the cross came a chicken and laid an egg. The blood that flowed from the Jesus's body colored egg in red. Therefore, the first egg should be in red to symbolize the blood of Jesus shed on the cross.

Why we give eggs for Easter?

Giving eggs derived from Biblical event. It is thought that after the death of Jesus, Mary Magdalene went to Rome to preach the gospel. When she met the Roman Emperor Tiberius, she gave him an egg and greeted with the words "Christ is risen."

When she told him about Christ's Resurrection, Emperor smiled and said that the return of Jesus from the dead is as impossible as white egg in her hand can turn red. Before ending with the speech, the egg in the hand of Mary Magdalene was also painted in bright red color.

Thus originates the tradition Christians to give Easter eggs before they greet with the words "Christ is risen."

Why we break with eggs for Easter?

For Easter, everyone breaks with Easter eggs and "wins" the one in whom whole egg is left. According to folk beliefs, it will give health in the coming year.

But the breaking of the eggs is not only "fight for health." It also symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. As Jesus' tomb was opened when he was resurrected to announce the new life, the egg breaks when new life comes out of it.

When we break with eggs, we in fact acknowledge and remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Easter is said to be a holiday over holidays, the day when Jesus proved his divine strength and power. Invite spiritual peace and celebrate Christ's resurrection full of joy.