Easter Egg Hunt and Egg-Rolling, USA
The egg hunt tradition is very popular in the USA. Every Easter, children all over the United States of America search for chocolate eggs in their homes and backyards, and play Easter games. It became a part of the culture, as for us Polish, blessing the eggs in the church on Easter Saturday morning.
The Tradition of Egg Hunt
In Pagan times, they associated the eggs with spring equinox and new life. Early Christians continued these beliefs. They made the egg a symbol of the resurrection and the empty shell was a metaphor for Jesus’ tomb.
In the medieval times, people could not eat eggs and any meat during Lent for 40 days before Easter. Only on Easter Sunday they could break the fast. Poor people could not afford to buy meat and the church was offering eggs for Good Friday offerings.
As tradition points, the custom of the Easter egg hunt started with Germany in the 16th century. The Protestant reformer Martin Luther organised egg hunts for his congregation. The men would hide the eggs for the women and children to find. They also connected this tradition to the Easter Bunny. They associated the bunnies with fertility and with the Virgin Mary. People believed the bunny would bring a basket of brightly painted eggs for all the children who had been good. The eggs would be hidden in the house and garden for the children to find.
Modern Times Egg Hunt
Now, in the US, the grocery shops sell colorful plastic eggs with a hard candy or chocolate hidden inside, and very often with a small toy or stickers with kids’ favorite cartoons’ characters.
Egg-rolling is very popular in the USA. At Easter they organize contests of egg-rolling. This tradition started with Scottish people. On Easter Sunday, families boil and paint eggs. Then they take them to a local park and roll them down a hill. The person whose decorated eggs go the farthest and remaining intact is the winner of the contest. Usually, it is a game for the kids, but you can see also adults taking part. Rolling the eggs down the hill is a symbol of the stone moving away from Christ’s tomb after his resurrection.
Happy Easter Dear Akademos Students!
bless – to consecrate or sanctify by a religious rite (święcić)
tomb – an excavation in earth or rock for the burial of a corpse; grave (grób)
egg hunt – looking for hidden eggs during Easter time (szukanie jajek wielkanocnych)
roll – to cause to move along a surface by revolving or turning over and over, as a cask, a ball, or a hoop (toczyć się)
hill – a natural elevation of the earth’s surface, smaller than a mountain (wzgórze)
stone – a rock (kamień)
sticker – an adhesive label (naklejka)
bunny – Informal. a rabbit, especially a small or young one (zajączek)
congregation – an assembly of persons brought together for common religious worship (kongregacja)
hidden – concealed (schowany)
basket – a container made of twigs, rushes, thin strips of wood, or other flexible material woven together (koszyk)
pagan – (no longer in technical use) one of a people or community observing a polytheistic religion, as the ancient Romans and Greeks (pogański)
medieval –of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or in the style of the Middle Ages (średniowieczny)
afford – to be able to meet the expense of (pozwolić sobie na coś)
fertility – the state or quality of being fertile (płodność)
shell – outer part/layer of the egg (skorupka)