Of course, Easter is a Christian holiday that purports to use the egg as a symbol of Jesus having risen from the dead. The egg was before Christianity, a symbol of Spring fecundity and the return of the sun. It seems rather obvious that the egg has pagan origins and was co-opted by Christians. But this might be, the egg at Easter is a significant part of many traditions and meals at Easter.Celebrating Ukrainian culture Ginger Kulas spoke to a full house at the Minden Community Centre on April 5. Kulas, who is married to Ukrainian-Canadian Bill Kulas, spoke on Ukrainian culture and gave a Ukrainian Easter egg demonstration. Find more at Pysanky for Easter
The beautiful pysanky, or painted eggs that the Ukrainian diaspora brought into our lives, is an example of how the egg has made its way into Christian symbolism. Priests in the Eastern rites of the Orthodox Church have a service for blessing the pysanky after the regular Easter Church service. Blood red dyes were originally used on pysanky to symbolize the blood that Christ sacrificed when he died on the cross. The best natural red dye was obtained from the Polish carmine scale insect, , and produced in Ukraine as . These traditional insect-derived dyes are not ethically attractive to people who lead a vegan lifestyle and do not look to ‘animal’ resources to meet their physical needs and aesthetic preferences. And, of course actual eggs are not something most vegans would want to use as art piece. Fortunately, there are a wealth of ‘vegan’ dyes on today’s market and quite a wealth of ideas for the egg as a symbol of rebirth and/or rising, fertility, etc.
BEYOND BIRDS’ EGGS
Of course, one can buy a pile of candy eggs of all varieties. The chocolate egg is a . Vegans will likely eschew the cheaper chocolate eggs as having associations with child in countries, like Cote d’Ivoire. And chocolate eggs with fillings may have eggs in the custard. When buying chocolate eggs, look for vegan eggs that are made with Fair Trade chocolate. You will find a list of suppliers of eco-chocolate Easter eggs at Vegan and Fairtrade Easter Eggs - How Ethical Is Your Easter? (ecoandbeyond.co)
Here are some excellent chocolate eggs that you can make yourself without worrying about what you are eating:
Simple, yummy, healthy recipe above
Old-Fashioned Cream Eggs <go to the recipe^ @ It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken
The Fabergé Easter Egg
In 1885 in the Empire of Russia, the first annual Faberge egg was “hatched” (made) by a jewelry designer in St. , Russia, and presented to Tsar Alexander III at Easter 1885. The detailing in the eggs is considered fine art among connoisseurs. The Tsar gave both his wife and his mother eggs. They were such a hit with the women that Fabergé was commissioned to supply the royal family with an egg of new design yearly. You can learn more about the most expensive and popular of the eggs below in the video:
Also interesting from the viewpoint of current events (I.e., the Russian aggressions and war on Ukraine) is that the largest investor in Fabergé eggs is the Russian oligarch Victor . This incredibly wealthy man purchased several of the eggs, paying about $100 millions for the package. was sanctioned in 2017 by the Donald Trump administration, and again in March 2022 by the Biden administration.
In spite of the ‘fine art’ status of the Faberge eggs, it is unlikely that the integrity of truly ethical vegans would be served by being part of the Faberge tangle of wealth and political intrigue.
From a couple of sources online, it appears that the gooey, sweet almond treat called marzipan (from the Latin meaning “sweet pastry of March”) came into being during a bit of a famine in Italy when ground almonds were used bread-making to bulk up the flour shortages. People apparently approved of the innovation and the sweet almonds were applied to other baking and food –making. This is my German husband's fave candy type-- and with chocolate, he's in Heaven!
Here is a simple vegan recipe for making marzipan (there are several versions online, but this is easy and quick):
1 ½ cups of fine almond flour
1 ½ cups of icing sugar
1-2 teaspoons almond extract
2 tablespoons light corn syrup (or honey if not vegan)
4 teaspoons water
Stir together the almond flour and icing sugar in one bowl until well-mixed and smooth. Stir in the corn syrup, and then add water and almond extract. Cream until all lumps are gone. Place in the freezer overnight. Form teaspoons full of the ‘dough’ into egg shapes. Let it set further in fridge and then enrobe with melted chocolate, white or dark (melted chips).
I also suggest that the following recipes can be used to make delicious healthier sweet Easter eggs:
and last but not least....
VEGAN DEVILED EGGS (er... POTATOES)
It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken"