When my mother lived in this realm of the world, every Easter she would boil some eggs for us, along with slices of onions. The eggs were dyed a reddish color. That’s how she’d been taught in her native Russia.
Back in Soviet times, my mom and I considered ourselves atheists, but she would always find out what day Easter would be on and would dye eggs then. As kids we would say “Christ resurrected!” though we barely had any idea about who this Christ guy was, not to mention a resurrection.
Certainly things changed a lot later on.
A great Iranian friend of mine explained to me that in her country they also dyed eggs, but for the Persian New Year, which occurs approximately with the springtime equinox. Christian Easter is celebrated exactly on the Sunday after the first full moon after that same equinox.
It seems that the custom has deep pre-Christian roots among people who at some time called themselves “Aryan” (until a political strongman contaminated that old name with horrible memories of hate). Notwithstanding, the custom was a celebration of spring, the resurrection of life after months of white snow.
Minutes before the Sunday midnight of resurrection, I started boiling four eggs – one for each member of our family (including my mother, who too will be resurrected someday). I tossed in lots of onions.
Three of the eggs quickly became covered with an even reddish color. One, however, maintained its whiteness, unaffected, like the color that snow gives to nature in some distant country while life sleeps through its winter dream.