In the United States in the early nineteenth century, Dolly Madison, the wife of the fourth American President, organized an egg roll in Washington, D.C. She had been told that Egyptian children used to roll eggs against the pyramids so she invited the children of Washington to roll hard-boiled eggs down the hilly lawn of the new Capitol building! The custom continued, except for the years during the Civil War.
In 1880, the First Lady invited children to the White House for the Egg Roll because officials had complained that they were ruining the Capitol lawn. It has been held there ever since then.
The event has grown, and today Easter Monday is the only day of the year when tourists are allowed to wander over the White House lawn.
The wife of the President sponsors it for the children of the entire country. The egg rolling event is open to children 13 years old and under. Adults are allowed only when accompanied by children!
On Monday April 9, 2012, the First Family will host the 134th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. This year’s theme is “Let’s Go, Let’s Play, Let’s Move” and more than 35,000 people will be joining the First Family on the South Lawn for games, stories, singing, dancing and, of course, the traditional egg roll on the Lawn.
Tickets were distributed through an online lottery system, allowing guests from across the United States to participate in a tradition that dates back to 1878.
In addition to all the fun and games, the day’s activities — which will include sports courts and cooking demonstrations — will help educate families on smart ways to incorporate healthy eating and exercise choices into their daily routines, which are key pillars of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative.
File photos Whitehouse.gov
In England, Germany and some other countries, children rolled eggs down hills on Easter morning, a game which has been connected to the rolling away of the rock from Jesus Christ’s tomb when he was resurrected. British settlers brought this custom to the New World.