As a northern person living in the south, one of the oddest things I am asked about at this time of year is the Easter tradition of egg rolling. Growing up, I assumed that everyone rolled eggs at Easter, and I was frankly horrified to discover that this isn’t the case.
Egg rolling is supposed to represent the rock rolling away from Jesus’ tomb (although I’m guessing this was Christianity hijacking a handy Pagan custom). In reality, egg rolling is a way to keep small children entertained for an entire morning during the Easter holidays. My infant school teacher even stretched it into a school activity, and made everyone bring in a boiled egg each year – inevitably, one confused kid would bring a raw egg and hilarity would ensue.
Anyway, here’s how to roll your eggs this Easter.
Step 1: Boil eggs
They have to be hard boiled, or it’s going to be a disappointingly short journey down the hill. Traditionally, eggs should be boiled for several days, if not the entirety of Holy Week.
Step 2: Decorate eggs
When I told my mum I was writing about rolling eggs, we had this conversation via email:
You will have to wear your thermals to roll your egg*, remember and steep it in the tea pot before painting it, the old traditions should be kept alive !!!!!!
I don’t remember steeping it in the teapot, why do you do that!? Jxxx
To stain it brown
Yeah, keep your colourful dyes, Americans, we’ll have none of that vulgarity! So you can tea-stain your egg for extra Scot-points, or just paint it like we used to. My brother and I would paint ‘terrified’ faces on our eggs, which seems a bit unnecessarily violent, but we had to make our own entertainment in those pre-Nintendo days.
*I am actually wearing thermals today. Screw you, climate change.
Step 3: Roll ’em!
Find a steep hill and roll those mothers down! There’s not really a competitive element to Scottish egg rolling, but you want to get the egg as far as possible, cracking the shell without compromising the structural integrity of the egg within. Use an underarm, bowling-style throw.
Step 4: Peel and eat egg
There are many people (Chris included) who won’t eat a cold, tea-soaked, hard boiled egg that’s just been thrown down a grassy bank. They are fools! Enjoy the, er, fruits of your… sorry, I’ve got involved in a confusing mix of food-based metaphor and reality. Carry on.
Congratulations, you’ve rolled your eggs! Nice work. If you’re from a town/country/planet that rolls eggs in a different way, tell us about it in the comments!
Happy Easter xxx