The Easter egg or spring egg is yet another popular Easter icon. Eggs and Easter seem to have almost become synonymous with each other. The egg is a symbol of birth, rebirth, fertility and new life. The history of egg's association with Easter dates back to the traditional spring rites. There are many ancient myths associated with eggs that relate a man with the egg. An old Latin proverb, Omne vivum ex ovo (all life comes from an egg) explains it all. The legend relating eggs with fertility is found all over the world. Therefore, it is not strange that in more or less all ancient cultures, eggs had been held as symbol of life.
During the Christian period, it was believed that eggs laid on Good Friday, and kept for a hundred years, would have their yolks turn to diamond. It was believed that if Good Friday eggs were cooked on Easter they would promote the fertility of the trees and crops and guard against unexpected disasters. Anybody finding two yolks in an Easter egg was thought to become rich in future. In many countries like Egypt, Persia, Greece, and Rome, people used to color and decorate eggs. Thereafter, these eggs were eaten at the spring festivals. Persians of that time gave eggs as gifts at the vernal equinox. Slowly and gradually, colored eggs dominated the Easter basket, although it's not clear how it came into being.
It is considered that the egg was introduced in Europe during the course of the 15th century when the knights, during their crusades, brought in the concept of the coloring of eggs westwards. There is yet another superstition associated with the coloring of eggs. In medieval period, when the church bells returned after Pope's blessings on Easter Eve, they were accompanied with colored eggs. Originally, the chicken eggs were dyed and painted, but today, they are often substituted with delicious chocolate eggs. The variety of Easter eggs ranges from hollow chocolate eggs wrapped in brightly colored foil to delicate sugar and pastry Easter eggs and the jelly egg made from sugar-coated pectin candy.
The history of easter eggs is as old as easter and egg decoration forms an important part of easter celebrations. Easter egg is a popular Easter icon.