Cracking the Tradition: The Significance of Red Easter Eggs
Updated: May 5
One of my favorite things that I learned when researching my latest book on celebrating the season of Easter, was the practice of dyeing Easter eggs red. I thought it would be fun to take a deep dive into the history of the red egg as well as some fun ways to incorporate the tradition into your home.
For Christians, Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and early in the history of Christianity, the egg became a symbol of this resurrection. Just as a chick hatches from its egg and emerges into a new life, Christians believe that Jesus emerged from his tomb on Easter Sunday, having conquered death and bringing new life to all who believe in him.
The practice of dyeing eggs red for Easter is a longstanding tradition in the Orthodox Christian Church, particularly in Greece and other parts of Eastern Europe. The red color symbolizes the blood of Jesus Christ, which was shed on the cross for the redemption of humanity. The red eggs are often prepared on Holy Thursday, the day before Good Friday. The eggs are boiled and then dyed red using natural dyes made from onion skins. The eggs are then used in various Easter customs, including being placed in baskets of food that are blessed by the priest on Easter Sunday. The red eggs are also exchanged as gifts among family members and friends as a symbol of the new life that Jesus' resurrection brings.
In the Orthodox Christian tradition, dyeing eggs red for Easter is often associated with the story of Mary Magdalene and her encounter with the Roman Emperor Tiberius. According to the legend, after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene traveled to Rome to share the Gospel with Emperor Tiberius. During the meeting, she gave the emperor an egg and explained to him that the egg was a perfect symbol of the resurrection of Jesus. However, the emperor was skeptical and responded that it was impossible for someone to rise from the dead, just as it was impossible for the egg in Mary Magdalene's hand to turn red.
The egg miraculously turned red at that moment, shocking everyone who witnessed it. This miraculous event is said to have convinced the emperor of the truth of Mary Magdalene's message, and he allowed her to continue her missionary work.
There are still many more days left in our Easter season celebrations. Introducing the tradition to your family is a great way to keep the celebration going! Tomorrow I'll be sharing
Read a book on the legend of Mary Magdalene and the red egg. The Miracle of the Red Egg tells the story of how this tradition started way back in apostolic times.
I purchased some of these red Lindt truffle eggs this year and they were so good!
I hope this new tradition will be a blessing to you and your family!
How to Dye Easter Eggs Red Using Natural Dyes