I did a little reading about Easter eggs and learned some things that I hadn't known before (click here for Wikipedia's entry). Although decorated eggs are clearly associated with the celebration of Easter, they aren't directly tied to any authentically Christian observance. There may be a connection with early Christianity's roots in Judaism, but it's more likely that Easter eggs are one of those traditions that came to be accepted after-the-fact, an add-on that became popular and simply "stuck." None of that was really a surprise to me. But what I hadn't heard before is that one of the possible reasons for eating eggs at Easter time is that eggs, like meat, were not eaten during lent. Since chickens didn't stop producing there was quite an overstock by the time Easter rolled around! What a mundane beginning for such a playful tradition!
There is even a tradition associated with the beginning of lent called Pancake Day which served to use up eggs by mixing them into crepe-like pancakes a few days before the season began! This practice is still popular in many countries around the world. That sounds like fun and given Americans' fondness for food I have to wonder why it never caught on here. Maybe it's not too late!
Bright colors and creative designs are always a visual delight, but the real value of an egg is found beneath the painted veneer. Each egg is endowed with potential for sustenance or new life and that is the treasure worth protecting.
Here are a few of the "eggs" in my basket...aren't they beautiful?