Why lamb, chocolate and eggs are Easter traditions

People around the world are getting ready to celebrate Easter with family and friends. People from different cultural backgrounds have their own traditions, but many of them have lamb, chocolate and eggs in common. Here’s why.

Why lamb is an iconic Easter dish

For Christians, the tradition of eating lamb on Easter Sunday is symbolic of the sacrifice that Jesus made for them when he died on the Cross for their sins, according to Greek Reporter. Before the Crucifixion, a sacrificed animal such as a lamb was offered to God as restitution for sins committed. Pascha, or Easter, is the day when Christians commemorate Jesus’ sacrifice and eat lamb in remembrance of his selfless act.

Lambs have had a special symbolic place in Passover observances long before Christianity. When the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, the Pharaoh refused to allow them to leave, so God sent nine plagues to persuade him to let his people go. Finally God sent the angel of death to kill the firstborn sons of the Egyptians. God told Moses to order the Israelites to sacrifice a lamb and smear the blood on the doors of their homes so that the angel would know to ‘pass over’ the houses of the Israelites. This is why the festival commemorating the escape from Egypt is known as Passover.

The story behind eggs for Easter

In the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, Easter eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ who sacrificed himself on the cross for all of mankind. The hard shell of the egg symbolizes the sealed Tomb of Christ – the cracking of which symbolizes his resurrection from the dead.

Traditionally Greek Orthodox Christians dye their Easter eggs red on Holy Thursday in commemoration of the Last Supper, known as Jesus’ last meal before he was crucified.

Traditionally Greek Orthodox Christians dye their Easter eggs red on Holy Thursday in commemoration of the Last Supper, known as Jesus’ last meal before he was crucified.

In other parts of the world eggs are dyed bright colours and hidden as a part of an egg hunt game.

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