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Easter Symbols and Traditions - Easter Bunny, Easter Eggs and Christianity

Easter Symbols and Traditions - Easter Bunny, Easter Eggs and Christianity

Easter traditions and symbols have evolved over time, though some have been around for centuries. While to Christians, Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, many Easter traditions are not found in the Bible. The most prominent secular symbol of the Christian holiday, the Easter bunny, was reportedly introduced to America by the German immigrants who brought over their stories of an egg-laying hare. The decoration of eggs is believed to date back to at least the 13th century, while the rite of the Easter parade has even older roots. Other traditions, such as the consumption of Easter candy, are among the modern additions to the celebration of this early springtime holiday.

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Easter Bunny

The Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short-tailed creature who delivers decorated eggs to well-behaved children on Easter Sunday; nevertheless, the Easter bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christianity’s most important holiday. The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life.

According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.

READ MORE: The History of Easter

Easter Eggs

Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.

Easter egg hunts and egg rolling are two popular egg-related traditions. In the U.S., the White House Easter Egg Roll, a race in which children push decorated, hard-boiled eggs across the White House lawn, is an annual event held the Monday after Easter. The first official White House egg roll occurred in 1878, when Rutherford B. Hayes was president. The event has no religious significance, although some people have considered egg rolling symbolic of the stone blocking Jesus’ tomb being rolled away, leading to his resurrection.

READ MORE: A Brief History of the White House Easter Egg Roll

Easter Candy

Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday in America after Halloween. Among the most popular sweet treats associated with this day are chocolate eggs, which date back to early 19th century Europe. Eggs have long been associated with Easter as a symbol of new life and Jesus’ resurrection. Another egg-shaped candy, the jelly bean, became associated with Easter in the 1930s (although the jelly bean’s origins reportedly date all the way back to a Biblical-era concoction called a Turkish Delight).

According to the National Confectioners Association, over 16 billion jelly beans are made in the U.S. each year for Easter, enough to fill a giant egg measuring 89 feet high and 60 feet wide. For the past decade, the top-selling non-chocolate Easter candy has been the marshmallow Peep, a sugary, pastel-colored confection. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based candy manufacturer Just Born (founded by Russian immigrant Sam Born in 1923) began selling Peeps in the 1950s. The original Peeps were handmade, marshmallow-flavored yellow chicks, but other shapes and flavors were later introduced, including chocolate mousse bunnies.

Easter Parade

In New York City, the Easter Parade tradition dates back to the mid-1800s, when the upper crust of society would attend Easter services at various Fifth Avenue churches then stroll outside afterward, showing off their new spring outfits and hats. Average citizens started showing up along Fifth Avenue to check out the action. The tradition reached its peak by the mid-20th century, and in 1948, the popular film “Easter Parade” was released, starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland and featuring the music of Irving Berlin. The title song includes the lyrics: “In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it/You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.”

The Easter Parade tradition lives on in Manhattan, with Fifth Avenue from 49th Street to 57th Street being shut down during the day to traffic. Participants often sport elaborately decorated bonnets and hats. The event has no religious significance, but sources note that Easter processions have been a part of Christianity since its earliest days. Today, other cities across America also have their own parades.

Lamb and Other Traditional Easter Foods

Lamb is a traditional Easter food. Christians refer to Jesus as the “Lamb of God,” though lamb at Easter also has roots in early Passover celebrations. In the story of Exodus, the people of Egypt suffered a series of terrible plagues, including the death of all firstborn sons. Members of the Jewish faith painted their doorposts with sacrificed lamb’s blood so that God would “pass over” their homes. Jews who converted to Christianity continued the tradition of eating lamb at Easter. Historically, lamb would have been one of the first fresh meats available after a long winter with no livestock to slaughter.

Easter Lilies

White Easter Lilies symbolize the purity of Christ to Christians and are common decorations in churches and homes around the Easter holiday. Their growth from dormant bulbs in the ground to flowers symbolize the rebirth and hope of Christ’s resurrection. Lilies are native to Japan and were brought to England in 1777, but wound their way to the U.S. in the wake of World War I. They went on to become the unofficial flower of Easter celebrations across the United States.


How Is the Easter Bunny Connected to Christianity? Meaning and Origin

The origin of the Easter Bunny can be dated back to the 13 th century in Germany. Over time, the Easter Bunny and the hunt for his Easter eggs have become a cultural association of the Easter holiday, especially for children.

The Easter Bunny is a beloved trope associated with the Easter holiday period. The rabbit has pre-Christian roots associated with fertility, new life, and spring. However, early Christians weaved the pagan symbolism of the rabbit into their Christian traditions to make the teachings of Jesus Christ more amenable to those outside of the faith.

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Maria McKenzie

You know, I've never really been fond of jelly beans. Chocolate all the way.

Except for Jelly Bellies, I've never been a fan of jelly beans, either. Peeps are cute, but I don't eat them. Like William, I favor all manner of chocolate.

Even after I outgrew the Easter Bunny, Mom still dyed eggs every year and made baskets for me, Dad, and herself (Dad would have been quite disappointed if he didn't get the biggest chocolate bunny available every year).

I've never been a big candy person and never cared for the traditional colored eggs with white filling or Peeps. Actually, I couldn't stand Peeps. Chocolate eggs and Bunnies were great though! Maybe I'll treat myself to some this weekend. I always looked forward to coloring eggs with my family and having them in my lunchbox the nest week. Lovely memories.

@William: I'm with you. I hate jelly beans, but I LOVE chocolate!

@Norma: I don't think I've dyed eggs for the past three years. But this year was the first year I didn't do Easter baskets. I got the kids chocolate bunnies and gave them a little gift, but not in baskets. I've had no complaints).

@Donna: Just give me pure chocolate! I don't really think I began to appreciate hard boiled eggs until I was an adult.


The origins of the Easter Bunny and Easter eggs

Easter, the most important holiday in the Christian calendar, is one of the most widely-celebrated holidays around the world.

Although the festival of Easter is a Christian one, many of the associated traditions have arcane cultural origins.

A 1907 postcard featuring the Easter Bunny

The most iconic Easter symbols, the Easter Bunny, and Easter eggs have their roots in the German Lutheran tradition. The Easter bunny originated as the hare whose purpose was the judge whether or not children were well-behaved at the beginning of Eastertide.

As far as the story goes, the Easter bunny had clothes and carried colored eggs in a basket, along with candies and toys to bring to good children, with obvious parallels to be drawn to Santa Claus’s role at Christmas.

A hare was a commonly used symbol in medieval church artworks. In antiquity, hares were commonly thought to be hermaphrodite and able to reproduce without mating. This belief led to them being a symbol of the Virgin Mary, who Christians believe became pregnant with Christ as a virgin.

Hares are often depicted in threes in old Easter art, as a reference to the Holy Trinity.

In addition to this, the rapid reproduction of rabbits and hares means they were an ancient symbol of springtime fertility. Female hares are able to conceive an additional litter of offspring while still in the process of carrying the first litter. Rabbits are able to give birth from a very young age and also have the ability to give birth to several litters of babies each year.

Eggs, another classic symbol of fertility, are another emblem of Easter. The tradition of Lenten fasting in Orthodox churches meant that pious Christians abstained from eating eggs in the weeks leading up to Easter.

To avoid wasting the eggs, they would be boiled or roasted and kept until the end of the fast. As part of the celebration for the breaking of the fast, these eggs were often dyed and painted.

Easter postcard circa early 20th century.

Over the years, German Protestants did not keep up with the tradition of egg fasting during Lent but carried on with the tradition of decorating eggs during the Easter holiday. The tradition of giving eggs away arose later, in 18th century America.

German Protestant immigrants to America started the tradition that the Easter Bunny would visit well-behaved children before Easter Sunday.

The stories of rabbits and eggs around Eastertime has never lost its appeal to children through the intervening centuries. Even with the advent of modern technologies, these ancient traditions continue to survive and play a part in Easter celebrations around the world.


The Egg Used in Games

We are all familiar with the quintessential Easter egg hunt, but other countries have different traditions using the Easter egg. Some European children go from house to house begging for Easter eggs, much like Halloween trick-or-treaters. Called pace-egging, it comes from the old word for Easter, Pasch.

Another game is the Easter egg roll, which the White House holds every year. The egg rolling is a symbolic re-enactment of the rolling away of the stone from Christ's tomb. Different countries have their own rules of the game--on the White House lawn, for example, children push their eggs with a wooden spoon, whereas in Germany children roll their eggs down a track made of sticks.


Where did the Easter Bunny and Easter eggs come from?

The inclusion of rabbits and eggs in the celebration of Easter is a combination of paganism, religious superstition, and practicality. Note that it is also marked by much speculation on the part of historians.

Spring was the season in which ancient peoples in the Northern Hemisphere shook off the cold dark days of winter, ate the last of their old, dried food, and started worrying about the fertility of their food sources. When knowledge of Creator God was unknown and the ways of nature mysterious, it was standard practice to assume a super-natural deity had control over the crops and livestock—and that people who wanted healthy crops and fertile livestock needed to earn this deity's favor. According to the 8th-century monk Bede, in the Germanic region this goddess was Ostara—Eostre in Old English—perhaps derived from the ancient goddesses of dawn, including Eos, Aurora, and Ushas. Bede recorded that as Christianity spread, the feasts in honor of Ostara gave way to the Christian Pascha celebration (Pascha being the Greek word for Passover and used in reference to the celebration of Christ's resurrection), but kept the name. Some have doubts that Bede's work is authentic, claiming that Bede made up the goddess Eostre, but Bede's writings give the only significant clue as to how we got the word "Easter".

If she existed in Germanic thought, as a fertility goddess Eostre was associated with hares and eggs. Hares were also companions to the Greek Aphrodite and the Norse Freyja, both goddesses of love and fertility (among other things). As hares and rabbits are extremely fertile, it's easy to see why they would become symbols of the season. But the Roman Catholic Church may have had another motive. Ancient legend claimed that hares are so fertile they can propagate asexually. The idea of an entire species that is prone to virgin births would be intriguing, and carvings of hares on various Catholic cathedrals led to speculation that the rabbit was a symbol of the Virgin Mary.

Beyond the idea that eggs represent fertility, there was a practical reason for parents to leave eggs for their children to find on Easter morning. Easter Sunday was the end of Lent—a 46-day fast from rich foods, including dairy, fats, meat, and eggs. Families with chickens would have 46-days' worth of eggs, many of them inedible or hard-boiled for storage. Using the eggs for games would be perfectly reasonable. In addition, the sealed egg with the treasure inside is used to teach children how Jesus was sealed in the grave.

It is often difficult to separate pagan symbolism from culture. Rabbits and eggs were pagan symbols of fertility, but they were also deeply ingrained in the native celebration of springtime. Whether a believer chooses to incorporate them into their Easter celebration is completely a matter of personal conviction. Bunnies and eggs hold no spiritual power they are not demonic. Few today would confuse an Easter bunny with Aphrodite, Freyja, or Ostara-worship. If Easter bunnies and eggs help children value the day before they can fully comprehend Christ's sacrifice and victory, that's not a bad thing. If the controversy over using ancient pagan symbols causes too much concern, we are free to ignore them. Easter is a celebration of our freedom in Christ. That freedom extends to the use of bunnies and eggs.


Easter Symbols and Traditions

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Christians celebrate Easter to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Some aspects of modern Easter celebrations, however, pre-date Christianity.

Ancient Spring Goddess

According to the Venerable Bede, Easter derives its name from Eostre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. A month corresponding to April had been named "Eostremonat," or Eostre's month, leading to "Easter" becoming applied to the Christian holiday that usually took place within it. Prior to that, the holiday had been called Pasch (Passover), which remains its name in most non-English languages.

(Based on the similarity of their names, some connect Eostre with Ishtar, the Babylonian and Assyrian goddess of love and fertility, but there is no solid evidence for this. People are inclined to believe it by the inclusion of eggs and rabbits, both fertility symbols.)

It seems probable that around the second century A.D., Christian missionaries seeking to convert the tribes of northern Europe noticed that the Christian holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus roughly coincided with the Teutonic springtime celebrations, which emphasized the triumph of life over death. Christian Easter gradually absorbed the traditional symbols.

Easter Eggs

In Medieval Europe, eggs were forbidden during Lent. Eggs laid during that time were often boiled or otherwise preserved. Eggs were thus a mainstay of Easter meals, and a prized Easter gift for children and servants.

In addition, eggs have been viewed as symbols of new life and fertility through the ages. It is believed that for this reason many ancient cultures, including the Ancient Egyptians, Persians, and Romans, used eggs during their spring festivals.

Many traditions and practices have formed around Easter eggs. The coloring of eggs is a established art, and eggs are often dyed, painted, and otherwise decorated. Eggs were also used in various holiday games: parents would hide eggs for children to find, and children would roll eggs down hills. These practices live on in Easter egg hunts and egg rolls. The most famous egg roll takes place on the White House lawn every year.

Different Traditions

Orthodox Christians in the Middle East and in Greece painted eggs bright red to symbolize the blood of Christ. Hollow eggs (created by piercing the shell with a needle and blowing out the contents) were decorated with pictures of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and other religious figures in Armenia.

Germans gave green eggs as gifts on Holy Thursday, and hung hollow eggs on trees. Austrians placed tiny plants around the egg and then boiled them. When the plants were removed, white patterns were created.

Artistic Creations

The most elaborate Easter egg traditions appear to have emerged in Eastern Europe. In Poland and Ukraine, eggs were often painted silver and gold. Pysanky (to design or write) eggs were created by carefully applying wax in patterns to an egg. The egg was then dyed, wax would be reapplied in spots to preserve that color, and the egg was boiled again in other shades. The result was a multi-color striped or patterned egg.

The famed Faberge eggsare artificial eggs, but these incredibly ornate decorative pieces were meant as special easter eggs for the Czar's family.

The Easter Bunny

Hares and rabbits have long been symbols of fertility. The inclusion of the hare into Easter customs appears to have originated in Germany, where tales were told of an "Easter hare" who laid eggs for children to find. German immigrants to America -- particularly Pennsylvania -- brought the tradition with them and spread it to a wider public. They also baked cakes for Easter in the shape of hares, and may have pioneered the practice of making chocolate bunnies and eggs.

Easter Cards

Easter cards arrived in Victorian England, when a stationer added a greeting to a drawing of a rabbit. According to American Greetings, Easter is now the fourth most popular holiday for sending cards, behind Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Mother's Day.

Easter Parades

After their baptisms, early Christians wore white robes all through Easter week to indicate their new lives. Those had already been baptized wore new clothes instead to symbolize their sharing a new life with Christ.

In Medieval Europe, churchgoers would take a walk after Easter Mass, led by a crucifix or the Easter candle. Today these walks endure as Easter Parades. People show off their spring finery, including lovely bonnets decorated for spring.


Significant Easter Celebrations Around the World

Osterbrunnen

Osterbrunnen is the Germain tradition of decorating public fountains and well with greenery and Easter eggs.

This relatively new tradition began as a way to celebrate Easter and water, both of which signify renewal and life.

Nearby villages competed to see who could decorate their fountains best.

It&rsquos even spread across the Atlantic Ocean &ndash the Bavarian-style town Frankenmuth, Michigan, adopted the tradition as well.


Goddess Eostre’s mysterious symbol was that the bunny that also represented fertility since they littered in massive numbers throughout the spring months. The title for a party of the dawn and also a change of season has been embraced by the Christians at the kind of celebration of the resurrection of Christ and also the start of a new age.

In addition, the thought that a hare could replicate without sacrificing virginity was correlated with the Virgin Mary and they’ve discovered a spot even at the depiction of the Holy Trinity.

The Easter Bunny plays with the function of a judge adjudging when the kids have been bad or good during the year. Occasionally the baskets were concealed for the kids to search and so the heritage of Egg Hunt also started.

Nowadays Easter Bunny is now an essential portion of the Easter party throughout the world. With no Easter Bunny, how is there an Easter party? Easter Bunny, although a fictitious personality is a quite loving creature one of all–most significantly for kids. There’ll be parties around with individuals buying and preparation for Easter festivity. In reality, everybody waits eagerly to the Easter Bunny to arrive and attract decent fortune and happiness for her or him.

It’s thought that the Easter Bunny or even hare signifies the moon. This is due to the simple fact that hare never shuts its eyes for one moment–although maybe not for blinking. This is stated so as it’s a proven truth in which hares are born with eyes whereas squirrels, on the other hand, are born blind.

This notion has arrived out of Egyptians. They’d termed hare because’un,’ so open easter has become renowned for ages today.

They create nests and also keep it in their backyard to be able to acquire the colored eggs delivered by Easter Bunny. They gather these eggs within their Easter Basket and love playing together.

Furthermore, these Easter Eggs are symbols of fertility and fruitfulness it’s likely to attract new life and pleasure in your life as all of us are conscious of the fact that Easter Bunny isn’t a modern innovation, therefore, all of us would love to understand about detail about Easter Bunny.

Origin Of Easter Bunny

Ever since time immemorial, Easter was observed. Easter is celebrated in just about all of the countries. Any thought? We are aware that on a specific date we celebrate Easter Bunny, but do we all understand how it began, from wherever the monitoring originated? No! Lets collectively delve deep and locate the motives or biography of Easter Bunny monitoring or party.

The biography of Easter Bunny is currently in Germany. However, the Easter bunny has its own origins in the times too. Anglo-Saxons were the very first ones to observe the festival of Easter. They observed that this festival with fantastic pomp and vitality so as to commemorate their Goddess, Eostre or Ostara, of genders, fruitfulness as well as springtime.

In reality, the title Easter Bunny has its own history linked to the Goddess only. This Goddess was constantly seen with her rabbit for a pet. Therefore, the title of the festival Easter was connected up with Bunny.


Bring Christian History Alive through Easter Egg Traditions

As Easter approaches, your family may be one of the many families around the world that celebrates the holiday with eggs. Maybe you and your children will hard boil a carton of eggs and dye them a variety of bright colors. Perhaps you&rsquoll eat the eggs afterward, display them in baskets, or hide them around your house or yard for your kids to find on an egg hunt. Or, you might buy plastic eggs and fill them with candy, then place those eggs in your children&rsquos Easter baskets, use them for an egg hunt, or attend a community egg hunt where large groups of kids dash across fields to find plastic eggs with prizes hidden inside.

You all will likely have fun in the process. Many families today aim to simply have fun with Easter eggs, adding a bit of colorful joy to the holiday. But did you know that, by using eggs to celebrate Easter, you can do much more than just have fun? You can use Easter eggs to teach your children something profound: that they are part of a faith that connects all believers with God, whose Resurrection power can transform them.

Throughout Christian history, believers have celebrated a myriad of Easter egg traditions to express their faith in Jesus Christ&rsquos Resurrection. Early Christians adopted the egg (which was previously a pagan symbol of new life that comes from nature&rsquos cycles of renewal) as an Easter symbol because an egg&rsquos hard shell represents Jesus&rsquo sealed tomb, and cracking the shell symbolizes His Resurrection. Eggs, which often remind people of new life because some creatures are born from them, reminded early Christians that Jesus is the true source of new life spiritually &ndash so they developed Easter traditions involving eggs.

Learning and practicing some of those traditions with your children can deepen their appreciation for the Easter story, Christian history, and their connection to the universal body of Christ. Here are some historical Easter egg traditions that you can celebrate with your kids this year:

Red eggs: Christians first began using eggs to celebrate Easter in ancient Mesopotamia, when they dyed eggs red &ndash the color of blood &ndash to symbolize the power of Jesus&rsquo blood to give people new life. In some Orthodox churches, priests still bless red eggs during Paschal (Easter) vigil services on the night before Easter. You and your children can dye an entire group of eggs red rather than a variety of colors, and then discuss how Jesus loves people so much that He was willing to suffer and bleed on the Cross to pay the cost of our sins. You all can also use your red eggs to play a traditional Greek game called &ldquoTsougrisma,&rdquo in which two players at a time each hold a red egg and crack their eggs together, trying to break their opponent&rsquos egg without cracking their own. You and your kids can also prepare and eat an Easter snack from the Byzantine era: red eggs set within the folds of braided bread, which gives the impression of blood on the Cross.

Pysanky eggs: These elaborately decorated eggs reflect a style of art called &ldquoPysanky&rdquo that originated in Eastern European countries such as Ukraine. Pysanky emphasizes writing or drawing on eggs with wax in between dyeing them different colors in progressively darker shades. Traditional Pysanky colors represent faith concepts that relate to Easter: white (purity), yellow (light and joy), orange (strength and endurance), red (the passion of Jesus on the Cross), green (hope and spiritual growth), blue (spiritual health), brown (Earth), and black (eternity). Also, traditional words (such as the phrase &ldquoChrist is Risen&rdquo) and pictures (like ladders, which represent prayer) used in Pysanky express concepts relating to Easter. Working with your kids to create layers of symbolic art on Pysanky eggs, you can discuss how God works in each of the different parts of their lives (from their relationships with family and friends, to their activities at church and school).

Egg symbols: You and your children can express your faith by drawing symbols on Easter eggs, as early Christians often did. Use either markers on white eggs or wax crayons on eggs you color afterward with dye (the part of the egg that you cover with wax will remain white when you dye it). Historical Easter egg symbols include: fish (Christianity), birds (hope), evergreen trees (eternal life), ribbons (eternal life), the sun and stars (spiritual growth), flowers (joy), triangles (the Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), and crosses (Jesus&rsquo sacrifice for people&rsquos sins).

Egg knocking: In this two-player game that has been popular with children and adults alike for many years of Christian history, the players each hold an Easter egg in their hands and knock them against their opponent&rsquos egg while saying: &ldquoChrist is Risen!&rdquo The one whose intact egg breaks open the other egg is considered the winner, and the broken egg is symbolic of Jesus&rsquo empty tomb on Easter morning. This game can get messy, but it can also be lots of fun for families to play together, with each family member taking turns playing against others.

Egg rolls: The tradition of rolling Easter eggs down hills began centuries ago in Europe as a way for children to celebrate how the stone that had sealed Jesus&rsquo tomb rolled away on the day of His Resurrection. In the 18oos, one of the world&rsquos most famous Easter egg rolls began: the one on the White House lawn (which first took place on the U.S. Capitol lawn), where children gather on the Monday after Easter to roll Easter eggs across the grass with spoons. Your family may choose to participate in a community egg roll if there&rsquos one in your local area, or hold your own.

Easter egg trees: The hollow eggs that decorate Easter egg trees represent Jesus&rsquo tomb, which became empty (hollow) on the first Easter after his Resurrection. The tradition of hanging the hollow shells of eggs on trees for Easter began in Germany and Austria centuries ago, and has recently become more popular in the United States. You and your children can create an Easter egg tree by making small holes with a knife or needle at the top and bottom of uncooked eggs to blow or drain out the yolk and white parts inside, then putting either ribbons or hooks through the top holes to attach the hollow eggs to the branches of a tree. If you&rsquore short on time, you can substitute modern plastic Easter egg ornaments that are as easy to decorate with as Christmas tree ornaments. The tree you choose to decorate may either be a live one that&rsquos growing outdoors, or a craft tree that is small enough to fit indoors.

Egg gifts: Early Christians often distributed eggs to the poor on Easter, and sometimes also to their family and friends. An ancient Irish Easter custom involves families counting out their eggs to give most of them to charity, and the rest to friends. You and your kids can pray for ideas about how you all can bless people you know with some type of snack or meal made with eggs around Easter. Once you decide what to make (anything from omelets to casseroles that features egg ingredients), you and your children can prepare and deliver it to people together.

Egg prayers: The custom of praying over Easter eggs goes back many years in Christian history. Early Christians sometimes offered simple prayers of gratitude to Jesus for making eternal life possible when they celebrated Easter with eggs. In 1610, when the Catholic Church declared the Easter egg an official symbol of the Resurrection, Pope Paul V prayed that God would bless people as they eat Easter eggs &ldquo&hellip in thankfulness to You on account of the resurrection of the Lord.&rdquo A Protestant worship prayer known as &ldquoThe Blessing of Eggs&rdquo asks God to: &ldquoGrant that they may be to us a sign of the new life and immortality promised to those who follow your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.&rdquo You and your children can each offer your own heartfelt prayers to God while holding Easter eggs.

No matter which historical traditions your family chooses to try this year, you all can learn something that will help you better appreciate Jesus&rsquo Resurrection and the rich history of how believers have celebrated it through the years.


Ostara Wasn&apost Alone

Although the Easter Bunny almost certainly has his roots in the legends of Ostara, she wasn&apost alone in providing the tradition.

Spring is a time of renewal and fertility for all nature based religions, from wicca to a large number of pagan variations. Eggs play their part as well in most of these beliefs as a tremendous symbol of fertility.

The bottom line is that most of the pagans would have had a festival of some kind celebrating spring, fertility and renewal of the world around the same time that Easter was celebrated. It is quite natural that these beliefs and traditions, all so similar, would come to be a part of the Christian celebration of the resurrection (renewal).

Should Christians then forgo the celebration as it has picked up secular traditions? It is of course up to the individual, but every holiday or tradition changes through time in both meaning and modes of celebration. Every celebration means just what the celebrant wants it to mean, and it seems a little out of line to refuse to celebrate a very spiritual day simply because others have changed the meaning into something more in accordance to their own likes or dislikes. Give the day a meaning that you like and celebrate accordingly, just as everyone does for every celebration.


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