DENVER – April 2014 – Though the winter weather was unpredictable this year, you can count on at least one thing for spring – the Easter Bunny. He’s getting all of his eggs in row so children around the world can wake up on Easter morning to the thrill of an Easter egg hunt. The Colorado Egg Producers (CEP) Association honors the history of the holiday and encourages fellow Coloradans to learn more about Easter traditions that span the globe.
“Easter presents a great opportunity to gather with family and friends while enjoying the nice spring weather, and eggs have been a central part Easter celebrations for hundreds of years,” said Vince Ruscitti, a Colorado egg farmer and member of CEP. “As local egg farmers, we take pride in knowing that our friends, family and neighbors across the state are using only the best and highest quality local eggs in their festivities from holiday feasts to decorating fun.”
In many countries, including right here in the U.S., the Easter Bunny is a prominent symbol of the holiday. While its exact origin is uncertain, the experts at History.com have helped narrow it down. Hares and rabbits are ancient symbols of fertility and new life, which make them ideal “mascots” for the spring season and Easter. Sources say the Easter Bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s from German immigrants who carried the tradition of an egg-laying hare called "Osterhase" or "Oschter Haws." Their children made nests for the creature to lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. in the form of Easter baskets.
According to History.com, the egg is an ancient symbol of new life and is thought to be associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. Decorating eggs for Easter dates back to at least the 13th century. To mark the end of Lent, people would paint and decorate eggs then eat them on Easter as a celebration.
Easter egg decorating is a fun tradition in many cultures and countries. Courtesy of Kinderinfo.com, an online children’s resource center, below is a list of international egg decorating styles.
Russia – Perhaps the most famously decorated eggs of all are known as Faberge eggs. They are exquisitely detailed jewelry designed in the shape of eggs and were created for the Russian Imperial Court.
Poland – The Polish pisankas are created by first dipping an egg in wax and then carving it. The egg is typically dyed once the carving is finished. It’s Polish tradition to exchange the pisanka eggs as gifts between family members on Easter Saturday.
Ukraine – A process similar to Polish pisankas is used to make Ukrainian Easter eggs, known as pysanky. The most common design themes are geometric shapes like squares or diamonds. Receiving a pysanky as an Easter gift is a great honor in the Ukrainian culture and the egg is often prominently displayed as art in the recipient’s home.
Greece – The Greeks commonly dye their eggs solid red. The red color is symbolic of the blood of Jesus, resurrected on Easter Sunday.
British Isles – The British decorate Easter eggs in many different colors and styles. What sets their tradition apart from others is the Easter egg roll, which is a contest is to see who can roll their egg down a hill and across the finish line without breaking their egg.
United States –One of the most famous Easter egg traditions in the U.S. is the White House Egg Roll. First Lady Dolly Madison originally started the tradition in the early 1800s. Every year children participate in this symbolic contest on the lawn of the White House, which is overseen by the First Lady.
Join CEP and the Easter Bunny at the FlatIron Crossing Mall in Broomfield now through April 19! Your children can meet and get their pictures taken with the Easter Bunny and enjoy a fun coloring activity. For every child who visits, CEP will donate one egg to Community Food Share serving Boulder and Broomfield counties. You can also visit with an “eggs-pert” from CEP to find more information about your local egg producers, get delicious recipe ideas and egg decorating ideas. The “eggs-pert” is in on the following days from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.: Saturday, April 5, Saturday, April 12 and Sunday, April 13.
If you prefer foodie photos to Easter Bunny photos, CEP recently held a Good Eggs-posure photo contest on Facebook! Coloradans were invited to share egg-meal photos for a chance at a $100 gift card to a Colorado breakfast restaurant. CEP donated one egg to the Food Bank of the Rockies for every like the photos received. Check out the photos on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/coeggproducers.
How will you celebrate this special and “egg-centric” holiday? Share it with us on Facebook, then check us out Twitter and Pinterest for recipes, egg decorating ideas and more. To learn more about CEP please visit www.coloradoeggproducers.com.
About Colorado Egg Producers Association
The Colorado Egg Producers (CEP) Association is a membership organization representing seven farms throughout the state. CEP is committed to doing what’s right for its community, as illustrated by the regular donation of thousands of eggs to food banks throughout the state. Local egg farmers take great pride in providing eggs to Coloradans. Eggs are a gluten-free food and we are proud to offer consumers the choice between cage, cage-free eggs, organic, nutrient enhanced, brown and white eggs, although it is important to note, there is no nutritional difference between cage-free eggs and conventionally produced eggs. For more facts and information about eggs and CEP, including a list of where to buy Colorado eggs, please visit www.coloradoeggproducers.com.