Egg-stra facts for Easter

Although Easter eggs were once part of pagan spring festivals, they’ve become Christian symbols of new life. A cracked-open shell also represents Jesus’ empty tomb on Easter morning.

The early Christians of Mesopotamia began staining eggs red in honor of Jesus’ blood shed on the cross. Red eggs remain part of Greek Orthodox celebrations today.

For Lent, some families used to give up eggs and dairy, so they prepared a pancake feast on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. They solved the egg surplus by hard boiling them in various broths, which led to colored eggs.

In medieval times, churches held “egg-throwing” festivals. The priest threw a hard-boiled egg toward the choir boys, who tossed it back and forth. When the clock struck 12, whoever was holding the egg got to keep it.

In some European countries, children go from house to house to collect Easter eggs

Each year, the PAAS Dye Co. sells more than 10 million egg-coloring kits, which consumers use to decorate 180 million eggs.

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