Believe it or not, folks…
This is an actual plant.
It’s called an Easter Egg Plant, and it’s a hybrid variation of the eggplant… yup, that purple vegetable (actually it’s a fruit) that gets used to make Eggplant Parmigiana – one of my favorite dishes.
I’m not sure whether this particular variety is edible or not – eggplant is a member of the Nightshade family, and some of the plants in this family are poisonous – or if it’s used solely for ornamentation (my sources seem to vary on this issue). It certainly makes an interesting conversation piece! According to the information I was able to find, the fruits actually start off white – looking much like a chicken egg – and then as they mature, ripen into various shades of cream, yellow, orange, and even green.
The tradition of dyeing and giving eggs at this time of the year is not limited only to the Christian celebration of Easter… those of us walking the Pagan path use this time to celebrate Ostara – the Spring Equinox – where we also dye and give eggs as a symbol of the birth of new life. Certain sources state that the word Easter itself derives from Eostre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. Whether or not such information is historically accurate, Ostara is celebrated by many Pagans as one of the eight Sabbats in the Wheel of the Year.
Whether you grow your own eggs, seek them out in the hen house, or buy them from your local supermarket… let us all celebrate this time of year as a reminder of resurrection and rebirth, the beauty of nature, and the ongoing cycle of life.