DID YOU KNOW?
According to Christian tradition, meat, dairy, and eggs were prohibited during the Lenten fast. Since it’s not an easy task to convince chickens to observe Lent and cease egg-laying for forty days, the eggs were often hard-boiled in order to preserve them. By the time Easter arrived, there would be quite a stockpile of eggs that needed to be used in short order, so eating eggs developed into an Easter tradition. Because of this, some Christians symbolically link the cracking open of eggs with the empty tomb of Christ. Eggs have become a symbol of spring, and likewise represent life and hope.
Many Eastern European countries decorated their eggs during the Lenten Season, often with flowers, birds, sun, and other symbols of spring, and this tradition has been passed along to many other cultures since. Along with the eating of eggs, many Easter egg games developed as part of the spring celebrations: egg tapping, egg rolling, Pace egg plays, egg dances, and of course, egg hunts. In the spirit of these traditions, the wood shop at Nelson’s made the giant eggs and launched a large-scale Easter egg hunt in 2016. The eggs were designed and meticulously painted by more than 20 different local artists, with inspirations taken from famous art pieces, Eastern European pysanka patterns, and local landmarks. Just as the first decorated eggs were a symbol of life to their cultures, we hope that our giant eggs will help remind viewers of the hope we should all have for our communities and for our world.