Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

While Easter is recognized by Christians all over the world as the day that Christ rose from the dead, I often wondered how the Easter Bunny and colored eggs tied into the celebration. Many of our holidays, it seems have somehow mixed with pagan beliefs and today is a good example.

Easter coincides with the arrival of spring, a time when nature typically awakens from winter and comes back to life. At the same time, we enjoy more daylight. Easter is named for a Saxon goddess, Eastre, who by chance, is also a goddess of fertility. The rabbit, because of its rapid reproduction, is considered her sacred animal.

Eggs, too are a symbol of fertility, and dyed eggs are given in many other cultures as gifts symbolizing hope for prosperity in the coming years. The hunting of eggs is believed to have originated in Europe during the rise of Christianity. Rather than present the eggs as gifts, adults hid and encouraged the children to find them. I never knew there was so much about Easter Eggs on the Web. Check out this link for Wikipedia and be prepared to be amazed.

So, even though some believe the addition of Chocolate rabbits, colored eggs, and candies in various shapes and sizes contribute only to the commercial aspect of the holiday, in truth, if you tie them all together as they are on this day, no matter your belief, we all have something to celebrate--Light, life, birth, rebirth, nature and renewal. So...regardless of what you choose to celebrate...Happy Easter My Friends.


Kim Smith said...

Happy Easter, Ginger! Hope you and yours have everything lovely for the season!

Lisa Logan said...

Happy Easter! I love the study of holiday traditions--truly fascinating!

When Christianity was on the rise, pagan traditions were often adopted to the practice to make assimilation to the new belief easier. Eostre/Ostara is the goddess of spring, and at Spring Equinox people celebrated rebirth/beginnings, planting, fertility, and the rising of the sun god (son of god...sound familiar?) Eggs are a symbol of both male and female fertility. As for the Easter bunny bringing eggs, an old legend said that Eostre found a hurt bird, and turned it into a rabbit to save its life. However, it was still able to lay eggs.

Speaking of which, time to make Easter dinner!


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