For those of us celebrating, this Sunday is Easter.

Ukrainian wooden Easter eggs | ©Tom Palladio ImagesAlong with its religious significance — the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the reason why there is Easter — it’s also the time for chocolate bunnies, marshmallow chicks, jelly beans and colored eggs in all kinds of decorative patterns.

Those colored eggs — poultry produced or twist-apart plastic — are strategically dispersed, lying in wait to be captured during traditional Easter egg hunts that are played out in family backyards and city parks in many parts of the world — from Canada to Croatia, from Sydney to San Francisco, and other countries, cities and towns in between.

© WhiteHouse.gov March 4, 2013 | Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson
© WhiteHouse.gov March 4, 2013 | Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

Even the President of the United States gets involved in Easter, as he leaves the Oval Office to host the traditional Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White house. This year’s event takes place on April 1st — pity the fool — and will mark the 135th edition.

In general, eggs were a traditional symbol of fertility and rebirth. The practice of decorating eggshells is ancient. Sixty-thousand years ago ostrich eggs were decoratively engraved in Africa. More recent, about five millennia ago, ancient Sumerians and Egyptians placed decorative ostrich eggs inside grave sites.

The custom of the Easter egg among early Christians began in Mesopotamia. There, locals stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ. In 1610, the Catholic Church, under the direction of Pope Paul V, officially adopted the custom of regarding the egg as the symbol of Christ’s resurrection into Heaven.

Cool Hand Luke | ©1967 Warner Bros
Cool Hand Luke | ©1967 Warner Bros

Today, those hard-boiled eggs are pimped out — colorfully and creatively dressed up to the nines — during Paschal Time.

The lily-white and free-range-brown eggs are miraculously transformed into works of art — well, some of them are — once the “after market” effects are added.

Like Cinderella fast approaching her midnight “curfew,” these good eggs’ 15-minutes of fame, unfortunately, is short lived, too.

It’s a real tragedy to see them all finally tapped open, peeled, salt-and-peppered and consumed — one right after the other — just like Paul Newman did in that unforgettable scene from the 1967 Academy Award-winning movie, Cool Hand Luke.

Happy Easter everyone, and good hunting!

©The Palladian Traveler | ©Tom Palladio Images

TPT Hat over Egg | ©Tom Palladio Images

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Written by The Palladian Traveler

Tom traded his hometown St. Louis Cardinals' baseball cap in the United States for a Borsalino and he now hangs his "capello" in the Puglia region of southeastern Italy. A veteran print and broadcast journalist, with well-worn passports that have got him into and out of 50 countries and counting, Tom fell in love with the "Bel Paese" years ago. As he notes, "I'm inspired by the beauty I find in all things that are very, very old, and reliving history, or at least meandering along cobblestone streets that were laid down over a thousand years ago and just looking up and marveling at what occupies the space still today, really gets my 'Vespa' running." Tom has a good eye behind the lens and is a graphic storyteller, but he'll let you decide as he keeps his camera batteries fully charged and the posts flowing from his creative hideaway in the hills overlooking Ostuni. You can also follow his dispatches along the cobblestone via TravelingBoy.com.

17 comments

    1. Emily – Glad you enjoyed this little bit of history around the Easter egg and my shots of the trio of wooden Ukrainian Easter eggs that I picked up a street market down 5th Ave. in NYC some years ago, dusted them off, and Voila! Happy Easter, and good hunting! 🙂

      Like

  1. Great post. We aren’t going north before Easter so I told my little ones that we would have a Memorial Day picnic and Easter Egg Hunt. Worked for them!

    Like

  2. The hunt was great, I remember – we even instituted one at work when I was at Sydney Dance Company, I remember – so many way out places to hide them on our rambling pier jutting out into Sydney Harbour! I didn’t know about the White House hunt. I can imagine Mr. Obama and his family enjoying a roll down the South Lawn, though my mind boggles at the idea of some of his predecessors getting into it.

    Like

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