It’s hard to believe that Easter is right around the corner. And though may of us are familiar with colored eggs, few of us these days are familiar with the RED one. It wasn’t until I watched a certain movie that I was even aware of this tradition.
Do you know which one I am referring to? There is one particular scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, where the guests are holding up and “klinking”…their red eggs! Do you remember that? Did you even catch it?
I remember the first time I visited and toured a Greek Orthodox church. It was during the annual Greek Festival in my city and I was amazed at how little I knew of the Eastern Orthodox faith. Saints in those churches are a really big deal and the art in the building and the paintings are simply stunning. But, as usual, once the spiritual portion of the day was complete, I could be seen pushing my way through circles of dancing greeks yelling “opa!” as I made a beeline for homemade baklavah.
But I must admit, I never did catch the very prominent portratit of Mary Magdalene holding the red egg when I finally got in for the tour of the sanctuary.
Apparently, there are multiple versions of the legend:
- One says that Mary Magdalene was bringing cooked eggs to share with the other women at the tomb of Jesus, and the eggs in her basket miraculously turned brilliant red when she saw the risen Christ.
- A different tale boasts that after the Ascension of Jesus, Mary went to Italy to share the Gospel and was granted a meeting with Tiberias Caesar. She greeted the Emperor of Rome with “Christ has risen,” whereupon he pointed to an egg on his table and stated, “Christ has no more risen than that egg is red.” After making this statement it is said the egg immediately turned blood red.
Whatever the legend or the case, I have to admit, I had never heard of the Red Egg until a cousin of mine sent me a link about it during Holy Week.
And that, my friend, is the legend of the Red Egg. You’ll never watch that movie that takes place in Chicago about the family that owns Dancing Zorba’s the same — ever again.
Just my thoughts.
For further research, check out wikipedia.