Easter – Origins and Traditions

What I like the most about holidays is how they engage everyone in the family in activities of one kind or another. Take Easter, for example. It’s coming up in April and I know kids who are already excited about the Easter egg hunt, and the part where they get to color and decorate the eggs, about exchanging Easter gift baskets and visiting their cousins. But, it’s not just the kids who enjoy this holiday. It has a special significance for adults too. 

What is Easter?
Easter marks the Resurrection day of Jesus. It symbolizes a new life after death.

This is the essence of Easter Sunday, which falls on the first Sunday after the full moon following the first day of spring. It marks the end of Lent – the forty day period of preparation for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and is a period of fasting and giving up sins. It ends on Easter Sunday, the day Jesus is believed to have come back to life.

Which brings us to the symbol most commonly associated with Easter

The Easter Eggs

Eggs represent life. And what better way to denote this renewal of life than with this universal symbol that people of all ages and cultures can relate to? There are several legends associated with Easter Eggs, the Easter Bunny and how they became embedded into this holiday.

According to one legend, Virgin Mary walked up to the soldiers at the Cross with eggs and while offering them the eggs, requested them to be kind. It is believed that after speaking to them, she began to cry. Her tears fell on the eggs which took on a brilliant splash of colors. This is probably how the tradition of coloring and decorating Easter Eggs began.

 Another famous story associated with the Easter Egg is that of the renowned goldsmith Faberge. He was commissioned by the Russian Czar to create a special Easter gift for the Empress Marie. His spectacular creation comprised of a Platinum shell egg which opened to reveal a golden one and inside the golden egg was placed a replica of the Imperial Crown. This first egg far exceeded the Czar’s expectations. In this way, the tradition of creating custom Easter Eggs as gifts for royalty began and was carried forward by several generations.

 Ornately decorated golden eggs were popular Easter gifts among royalty and affluent families of many countries for a long time. And the custom of gifting eggs, decorated with beautiful designs and colors continues to this day, signifying life, the birth of spring, hope and so much more.

 Where did the bunny come from?

But, what on earth does a bunny have to do with Easter? Or the eggs? How do you think the Easter Bunny was born? Leave your comments below. Our next post will have the answer.