No gathering Eggs for May: it has to be Easter

Can it really be true that there isn’t enough to keep our Prime Minister busy these days?

Theresa May, while cosying up to the Extreme Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, still finds time to lambast the National Trust, for removing the word “Easter” from their egg hunt (except of course they didn’t.)



Isn’t this a blatant example of virtue signalling (normally an accusation hurled at social justice warriors and other occupants of socialist/liberal snowflake world) by the Prime Minister?

The National Trust, in a presumably very lucrative deal with American food multinational Kraft (who I imagine have no interest in such trivialities) has renamed the traditional Easter Egg Hunt, in some places at any rate, the Cadbury Egg Hunt.


However much you sugar coat this, understand this is about money changing hands – large wads of it.

The National Trust quite rightly though do not want to put off non-Christians from taking part in the festivities. But Vicar’s daughter Mrs May has taken umbrage.

After all, (Easter) Egg hunts are all about Christianity, aren’t they?

Well no, actually they are not. Christ was not crucified holding an egg, nor did he carry an egg through the streets of Jerusalem.

The egg is a very ancient symbol of rebirth at the time of the vernal equinox. Ancient Persians decorated eggs (perhaps not chicken eggs?) to celebrate their New Year Nowruz, at the time of the Spring Equinox. This tradition continues to this day and long pre-dates Christ – though it is thought that Christians adopted the practice fairly early on in Christianity’s history.

And of course the Easter bunny is no bunny (and nothing to do with Christianity). It’s a hare – thought to symbolise Eastra, Norse goddess of the Dawn (in this case the dawn of the growing year). Or possibly it was Hares which pulled Norse god Freya’s carriage, Freya being goddess of fertility.

One theory is that people thought hares were born from eggs because of the “forms” they produce while lying up in pastures. Whatever the origins of the beliefs, Hares and Eggs are bound up in our modern day celebration of Spring.

But really, who knows? These things are, literally, the stuff of legend and people will continue to debate their origins forever more. It doesn’t really matter where they originated.

What this has to do with Christianity is obscure, to say the least. What it does indicate though is how ancient customs rooted in people’s reverence for nature still survive (albeit in cryptic forms) in our culture, despite fears of an ever increasing disconnect with nature.

Perhaps Mrs May’s PR advisors merely spotted the opportunity to provide a welcome distraction from the daily tales of Brexit cock-ups (why did they decide to leave any mention of Gibraltar out of the Article 50 letter?) we all seem to be enduring these days.

About Miles King

UK conservation professional, writing about nature, politics, life. All views are my own and not my employers. I don't write on behalf of anybody else.
This entry was posted in easter, National Trust, symbolism, Theresa May, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to No gathering Eggs for May: it has to be Easter

  1. Poor Mrs May! I expect she has happy memories of looking for Easter eggs – all part of her syncretistic belief system – multiculturalism in evolution. Perhaps she will take us to War on an Egg over Gibraltar?

  2. Stuart Brown says:

    There is something of an irony of her banging on about religious traditions on her way to fawn and grovel for trade from a country whose interpretation of religious tradition would preclude her from voting, driving a car, exposing any of her skin in public, or leaving the house without a male relative.

  3. Dave Blake says:

    I think that the NT did a good job in activating their relationship with Cadbury in this way. I wouldn’t be bothered by the ‘iffy-ness’ of the parent company. I negotiated a deal with a water company who have a parent company who also own high-end hotels and coal fired power stations, but there is no element of endorsement by my organisation in their activities.

    However, I am baffled as to what the PM thought she would gain from attacking them. Does she not think that its a good idea for charities to have mutually beneficial relationships with private sector companies? Is this part of keeping the NT in it’s place, when it has been critical of government in recent years? Or is it just another yank on the chain of the frothing-at-the-mouth Brexiteers who have been less than happy at recent developments?

  4. David Dunlop says:

    Esther McConnell @est_mcc

    I’m sure John Cadbury (my g. g. g. g. grandfather) is not spinning in his grave. As a Quaker, he didn’t celebrate Easter @JohnSentamu
    9:57 AM – 4 Apr 2017

    747 747 Retweets

    It was the Anglican Archbishop of York who started it; the row that is, not Easter! It always pays the establishment not to make assumptions about non-conformists…

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