According to Erica Bouchard, author of Egg Art, eggs have been considered the symbol of fertility and new life, rebirth and renewal for thousands of years. For this reason, many ancient cultures incorporated eggs into springtime religious celebrations and decorated them with symbols of their cultures. Stephanie Hall of the Library of Congress, states that "eggs are part of the creation myths of many peoples, the 'cosmic egg' from which all or parts of the universe arises." Egg art has appeared all over the world as eggs are integrated in much of human folklore representing healing and protection.
The first record of painting and decorating eggs for Easter is from the 13th century. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the church prohibited the eating of eggs during Holy Week. Of course, this did not stop chickens from laying eggs that week. As a result, the idea of identifying eggs laid during “Holy Week” as special brought about their decoration. Eggs came to symbolize the Resurrection and new life.
If you plan to decorate eggs to celebrate springtime or Easter, check out these Creative Bug classes on marbling and using natural dyes to color eggs.
Bouchard, Erika. “Egg Art.” Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2019. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ers&AN=100259078&site=eds-live.
"Easter." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 12 Jun. 2018. school-eb-com.rpa.sccl.org/levels/high/article/Easter/31806#231528.toc. Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.
Hall, Stephanie. "The Ancient Art of Decorating Eggs." Folklife Today Blog of the Library of Congress, 17 April 2017. https://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2017/04/decorating-eggs/