Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Red Eggs.

I read once that, in China, when a son is born, there was the custom of dying eggs red and distributing them. I thought that Saint Mary Magdalene was supposed to have invented that custom.

I do not believe that the original story of St. Mary of Magdala suggests that the invented the custom, only that she used it, as an already know symbol of life. She took an existing custom, which would have been know and understood by all, and used it to illustrate her testimony about the Resurrection of Christ. The custom of using red eggs in connection with life and new life is very ancient and certainly predates St. Mary of Magdala. It was indeed, and likely still is in many provinces, a custom to distribute red eggs when a son is born. I suspect that when a daughter is born there is mourning instead of celebration; such is the structure of the society. It was certainly more useful for the Magdalene to use an illustration that everyone would understand rather than one that no one would understand.
Both the Easter eggs and the rabbits are part of the pagan cult of the goddess Easter, because both are symbols of fertility and the goddess Easter was the pagan goddess of spring fertility. Young maidens were sacrificed at Easter and their blood sprinkled on the fields in some pagan religions. Of course, Orthodox Christians do not celebrate Easter, but Pascha, the true and perfect Passover. Pascha is a dogmatic term, not simply another name for Easter, the goddess of fertility.

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