Early Christians seeking converts merged holy days with pre-existing cultural celebrations, traditions and symbols. Thus, the egg became practically synonymous with Easter. Some tidbits about the storied egg:
- Eggs symbolize immortality, according to "A Dictionary of Symbols" by J.E. Cirlot.
- Some civilizations believed the world began with an enormous egg, and others saw the universe as a cosmic egg.
- The Chinese believed the first man sprang from an egg that the deity Tian dropped from heaven to float upon the primordial waters, Cirlot writes.
- Eggs, also a symbol of fertility, had a starring role in spring rites and festivals in ancient Egypt, Persia and Rome. They may have been painted to represent the bright colors and sunlight of spring and were given as gifts.