Saturday, April 03, 2010

What's Easter and Why the Eggs and Bunnies?

I guess Christians and Catholics celebrate Easter as the day they believe Christ was resurrected. But what of the bunnies and eggs, which are a far more common American version of Easter?

Well, like other holidays, Christmas comes to mind, Easter is a mix of pagan and Christian celebrations and symbols.

Off Yahoo: "Hundreds of years ago, "many pagan cultures held spring festivals." One festival was devoted to "Eostre, the goddess of dawn," and this Eostre was "linked to the hare and the egg, both symbols of fertility." Christian missionaries, in an attempt to convert the pagans, began to turn these festivals into Christian holidays by mixing the pagan traditions with their own. Two celebrations became one.

From around the web: "eggs have long been a symbol of rebirth and thus associated with spring celebrations." Back in the 600s, "Pope Gregory the Great forbade the eating of eggs during Lent (the 40 days preceding Easter), and this helped make eggs a special treat at Easter."

The modern version of the Easter Bunny was influenced by German traditions from the 1500s. According to Mental Floss, "The Germans converted the pagan rabbit image into Oschter Haws, a rabbit that was believed to lay a nest of colored eggs as gifts for good children."

1 comment :

  1. So, if we are German, I guess we have the Easter Haws! rhymes with
    Santa claus....hoppity hoppity hohoho!