Saint Joseph’s :: Album :: Q & A

Two eggs laid on straw and feathers.

Why Do We Have Eggs At Easter?

In the 6th and 7th centuries Saint Augustine of Canterbury (an Italian by birth) helped the Britons of the time to understand Christianity better by adapting their own mythology. The origin of the Easter Egg and indeed the word Easter come from one of these adaptions.

Strangely it all started with a mistaken observation. Hares don’t have nests or burrows. When it comes to having their young, however, they scrape away a little bit of top-soil - to a depth of about 10cm - giving some small amount of protection. The confusion comes in because one bird uses the hare's scrape to lay its eggs in. Of course, the pagans thought it was the hare that laid these eggs - the bird’s involvement is only a fairly recent discovery.

For the pagans then, the hare became the symbol of Eastre their ‘god’ of fertility. This ‘god’ of fertility was the focus of a big springtime festival and the symbolism was transferred to represent the new life of the Resurrection. The jump from hare to bunny was probably down to the marketing of chocolate to children, but don’t quote me.

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