[edit] Christian traditionsMaria Magdalene, 1899 by Viktor M.

[edit] Christian traditions

Maria Magdalene, 1899 by Viktor M. Vasnetsov, depicted as one of the Myrrhbearers.

While the origin of Easter eggs can be explained in the symbolic terms described above, a sacred tradition among followers of Eastern Christianity says that Mary Magdalene was bringing cooked eggs to share with the other women at the tomb of Jesus, and the eggs in her basket miraculously turned brilliant red when she saw the risen Christ. The egg represents the boulder of the tomb of Jesus.[17]

A different, but not necessarily conflicting legend concerns Mary Magdalene’s efforts to spread the Gospel. According to this tradition, after the Ascension of Jesus, Mary went to the Emperor of Rome and greeted him with “Christ has risen,” whereupon he pointed to an egg on his table and stated, “Christ has no more risen than that egg is red.” After making this statement it is said the egg immediately turned blood red.[18]

[edit] Parallels in other faiths

The egg is widely used as a symbol of the start of new life, just as new life emerges from an egg when the chick hatches out.[1]

The ancient Zoroastrians painted eggs for Nowruz, their New Year celebration, which falls on the Spring equinox. The tradition continues among Persians of Islamic, Zoroastrian, and other faiths today. The Nowruz tradition has existed for at least 2,500 years. The sculptures on the walls of Persepolis show people carrying eggs for Nowruz to the king.[citation needed]

There are good grounds for the association between hares (later termed Easter bunnies) and eggs, through folklore confusion between hares’ forms (where they raise their young) and plovers‘ nests.[19]

[edit] Variations in popular culture

Easter eggs have inspired the form of many similar objects both precious and mundane, including chocolate eggs, monuments, and the famous Fabergé eggs

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