The Spring tradition of egg decorating is one of the most ancient decorative arts, with the oldest cache of decorated eggs were found in Africa, dating back 65,000-55,000 years (1).
Around the world and across cultures, eggs are decorated to celebrate their symbolism: life, renewal, rebirth, healing, protection, and the coming of Spring.
Here are some examples of egg decorating across cultures and traditions:
- Iranians decorate eggs to honour Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, which falls on the Spring Equinox. This is now practiced across Eurasia by Persian and Turkish peoples across faiths.
- Christians celebrate the egg at Easter, to honour the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- In China, red eggs are given as gifts to a bride and groom, or for a new born baby. They symbolize fertility, health, protection and good fortune.
This month, Creating Together will be celebrating this ancient tradition with an egg decorating craft on April 13th, followed by an egg hunt on April 14th – no registration required!
Join us in this ancient tradition on April 13th, followed by an Egg Hunt April 14th!
- Texier, Pierre-Jean, et al. “A Howiesons Poort tradition of engraving ostrich eggshell containers dated to 60,000 years ago at Diepkloof Rock Shelter, South Africa.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 107, No. 14 (April 6, 2010), pp. 6180-6185 and Pierre-Jean Texier, et al, “The context, form and significance of the MSA engraved ostrich eggshell collection from Diepkloof Rock Shelter, Western Cape, South Africa,” Journal of Archaeological Science 40(9), September 2013. See also: Michael Balter, “Engraved Eggs Suggest Early Symbolism,” Science Magazine, March 1, 2010, for images of some fragments and a discussion of the importance of the find.