The priest would throw hard-boiled egg to a choirboy, who would toss it to a fellow choirboy, continuing the game until the clock struck 12. When the clock struck 12, the last person holding the egg won, and was able to keep the egg.
A colorfully bedecked Easter bonnet used to be worn to signify the end ofÂ Lent, a time of solemn contemplation where people refrain from wearing such finery.
Pysanka is the traditional term for painting eggs. The egg was a sacred token to the Egyptians, commemorating the restoration of mankind after the great flood. Eggs are symbols of the resurrection of Christ to many Christians.
Like Passover, which is determined by the phases of the moon, Easter is a movable feast. In Western Christianity, Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox, or the arrival of Spring. The date is calculated differently in the Eastern churches because they use a different calendar.
The Pope of the Roman Catholic Church gives his “Urbi et Orbi” address (“To the City and the World”) every year at Easter. The tradition of giving eggs, which are a symbol of life, at Easter can be traced through history, throughout the cultures of the Egyptians, Gauls, Persians, Greeks and Romans. Every Easter in the United States, an enormous Easter egg hunt is held on the lawn of the White House.
While some churches maintain the tradition of hanging Easter evergreens embroidered with red on white, or interwoven in straw, most churches have begun decorating their spaces with flowers of yellow, green, and white. Eggs marked the departure of the Jewish people from Egypt.
Churchgoers were expected to wear at least one new piece of clothing, if not an entire outfit, on Easter Sunday to symbolize new life and bring about good luck.