Easter Eggs Around the World

From the earliest times, the egg was a symbol of rebirth in most cultures.

In Poland, Ukraine, and other Eastern European countries, brightly decorated eggs called pysanky are made.

  • Symbolism of Pysanky Colors
    • YELLOW – The symbol of light and purity as well as reward.
    • ORANGE – The symbol of endurance and strength.
    • GREEN – The color of fertility, health, and hopefulness.
    • RED – The magical color of folklore signifying charity, spiritual awakening, the joy of life and love.  Pysanky with red motifs are often given to children.
    • BLACK – Represents remembrance and eternity.
    • BROWN – Represents Mother Earth and her bountiful gifts.
    • BLUE – Represents blue skies and life giving air.
    • WHITE – Signifies purity and birth.
    • PURPLE – Representing fasting, faith, trust, and patience.
    • PINK – Represents affection and admiration.

A tradition exists in some parts of the United Kingdom (such as Scotland and North East England) of rolling painted eggs down steep hills on Easter Sunday.

Orthodox Christians in the Middle East and in Greece paint eggs bright red to symbolize the blood of Christ.

Germans give green eggs as gifts on Holy Thursday, and hang hollow eggs on trees.

Austrians place tiny plants around the egg and then boil them. When the plants are removed, white patterns were created.

The most famous Easter egg tradition in the United States is the White House Egg Roll that takes place in Washington D.C.. The tradition was originally started by First Lady Dolly Madison in the early 1800s, and has evolved since then. Every year, on Easter Monday, children participate in this symbolic contest on the lawn of the White House, which is overseen by the First Lady.