Egg legends and lore

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1. Ancient Egyptians believed their god Ptah emerged from an egg laid by the almighty Chaos Goose, creator of the sun and moon.

2. Because it symbolizes new life, many consider the egg an aphrodisiac.

3. German and Slav peasants rubbed a mixture of eggs, bread and flour on their plows hoping to improve the harvest.

4. To ensure a big family, a 17th-century French bride would crack an egg on her new home's doorstep before entering.

5. In the 19th century, builders in Bombay, India, put an egg and milk into the foundations of new structures to protect them from harm.

6. The Bible claims fowl originated before the egg in the excerpt "And God said 'Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth....'".

7. One thoughtful woman who, when asked by a child which came first, replied "Chickens. Because God would never lay an egg." THE EASTER CONNECTION

Even before Christian times people colored, blessed or exchanged eggs as part of the rites of spring to welcome the sun's awakening from its long winter sleep. Early Christians adopted the egg, which represented the renewal of life, as a symbol of Christ's resurrection from the grave.

Several folk tales explain the origin of dyeing Easter eggs. One legend from Poland recounts how the Virgin Mary herself painted boiled eggs in bright colors to please the infant Jesus.

People around the world celebrate Easter or new beginnings with eggs.

Eastern Europeans may exchange eggs bearing the letters "XB" for :Christ is Risen". Russians exchange a decorated egg and three kisses.

Chines people present a red hard-boiled egg with congratulations when a child is born. And German immigrants to the U.S. introduced the tradition of the Easter bunny delivering colored eggs to children.

Source: Modern Maturity magazine, March-April 1996; typos by Dorothy Flatman 1996

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