Passover and Easter are right around the corner – eggs are a large part of these two religious holidays and for different reasons. In fact, many religions and traditions surrounding eggs and hard boiled eggs had us wondering, how many meanings are there? So, we did a little research on the history of eggs.
Eggs have carried meaning as far back as Ancient Greece. Phanes who gave birth to the universe was said to have been born from a cosmic egg entwined with a snake (yikes, snakes?!) One busy dude – he not only gave birth to the universe, he was born from an egg!
Head on over to Egypt and meet Seb, a goose residing in the heavens. Seb was known for laying and hatching two eggs; the Pheonix and the Sun! Not too shabby for a feathered friend.
So now that we have a God, a goose,the sun and the earth all connected to the egg - let’s turn to rituals and religions that have surrounded the egg.
The cosmos and eggs also shows up in Hinduism. The egg is likened to all of creation: the shell as the heavens and the yolk as the earth.
The hard-boiled egg in the Jewish faith has significant meaning, both for the Passover Seder plate and for the Meal of Condolence. The hard-boiled egg, often also slightly roasted, is a mourning food in the Jewish Faith, but also signifies the cycle or circle of life.
Christianity adopted eggs as a symbol of fertility, resurrection, and eternal life. From the outside, eggs appear stone cold, yet inside they nurture young life.
Eggs were often used as a way to encourage fertility for humans and Mother Nature (Well, no wonder!! The egg was busy making gods, earth, sun – if it’s good for the goose it must be good for the gan..I mean human?). In fact, we can still find examples in some areas of France, where brides will break eggs before entering their new home to ensure pregnancy. Ok ladies, when you are done breaking your eggs, head on over to Germany where farmers would smear eggs on their ploughs in the spring—a fertility rite during sowing season.
So – there you have it, the egg – a diverse, powerful symbolic food that dates back to ancient times.
All we know is we think you should eat more eggs – especially hard boiled eggs. And history seems to agree!
The various meanings of eggs:
- Creator of Gods
- The Sun
- Heaven and Earth
- The cycle of life
- Eternal Life
- A mourning food