History of Easter Traditions

8 Apr

Happy Easter! I hope your Easter Sunday Mass did not involve too many crying children and your egg hunts were fruitful.

Have you ever taken a moment to ask why bunnies, eggs and Jesus are related? Well, this morning I did some research on Easter traditions and got lost in articles about Easter witches in Sweden, kites in Bermuda demonstrating the Ascension of Christ, the Easter Egg Roll at the White House, and the pagan spring goddess Eastre. You really should check it all out later when you’re at home in a food coma (post religious reflection about Jesus and how he died for our sins, of course).

Rabbits don’t lay eggs, so why would our beloved bunny carry eggs? Some sources indicated that the rabbit and egg both represent fertility and new life and were celebrated by Anglo-Saxons during the spring equinox. Later in the 1700s, German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania shared their tradition of the egg-laying hare “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.”  Their children made nests  in which the rabbit could lay its colored eggs and they left out carrots if he got hungry. As the tradition spread, decorated baskets replaced nests and the rabbit’s deliveries included chocolate, candies and gifts.

So, there you have it. History can be so interesting. My sources are below, I suggest checking out the Time link.  Have a nice Sunday!

Top Sources:

1. Encyclopedia Britannica – Easter 

2. History.com – Easter Symbols and Traditions (photo also from History)

3. Time.com – Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Easter

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6 Responses to “History of Easter Traditions”

  1. Kyle April 8, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    some wonderful insights – thank you for broadening my perception of easter

    Like

  2. crubin April 8, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    So impressive that you did some research on this day. I, instead, chose to eat a little of my kids’ Easter candy. Okay, more than a little…

    Like

  3. Maggie O'C April 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    I had to do this same research this year b/c my favorite Hindu/atheist at work would not get the fuck out of my grill about Catholics and Easter. Jeeeeez, just eat some Cadbury and shut up!

    Like

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