Easter eggs are handed out to symbolize Jesus’ resurrection: The hard shell represents the sealed tomb and the cracking of the egg represents Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
While it might seem like a strange tradition to hand out Easter eggs in a church service, early Christians abstained from eating eggs and meat during Lent, a period of 40 days where Christians fast, repent, and pray to prepare for Easter. Therefore, Easter was the first time Christians could eat eggs.
As a symbol of Jesus’ tomb and resurrection, Christians developed different traditions surrounding Easter eggs.
Why do we dye Easter eggs?
The early Christians of Mesopotamia began the custom of dyeing Easter eggs. Originally, Christians dyed eggs red to represent the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross. Over time, this tradition spread throughout eastern Orthodox churches and eventually made its way to Catholic and Protestant churches in Europe.
According to Good Housekeeping, early Christian missionaries dyed the eggs different colors to represent different aspects of the Easter story. They used yellow to represent the resurrection, blue to represent love, and red to represent the blood of Christ. Sometimes, the missionaries would paint biblical scenes on the eggs and hide them. This is one of the earliest forms of the Easter egg hunt.