Easter and its different meanings

Easter always one of my personal favorite holidays. I have very fond memories of getting all dressed up and going to my Grandma’s house in Chicago suburb and filling the Easter Basket with treats and Polish food that we would eat for Breakfast.

 Then we would go to the Church and have the baskets blessed by the Catholic Priest. I could not wait to get back home as we could not eat anything until after mass. The blessed basket with polish sausage, colored eggs, horseradish and polish breads and treats would smell so good as I sat there, kneeling waiting for the priest to come by me and the basket. Just thinking back makes my mouth water. I miss my Grandmother, she was very religious and helped in my upbringing. I Thank her for the lovely traditions that I hold dear with my family.

I remember as a child being confused as to why the Easter bunny came and it was also the religious holiday celebrated of Jesus Christ’s resurrection. I tell my kiddos the Easter Bunny comes to celebrate the resurrection too. As an adult I was always curious on how the two really meshed. What was the symbolism of the bunny?

I have read that the word Easter has a few different origins. Some believe that it came from the pagan idolatry of Esotre, which she was the goddess of spring and fertility. What else can be thought of as very fertile? Well the bunny of course. The rabbit for the early Anglo-Saxons mythology was their symbol of fertility. So the rabbit could symbolize rebirth and new life. Long ago when the Christians helped to convert the northern Europeans from their goddess of fertility the two cultures merged to be the start of what we know today as Easter.

Many older European countries had used the rabbit as their Easter symbols and brought that to us in their customs. German immigrants brought the tradition of edible Easter bunnies to us in the way of pastries shaped like bunnies. It was not until around the 1800’s when the first chocolate bunny came. The stories told to the Pennsylvania Dutch were tales about the eggs laid from the bunnies (eggs symbolizing life and the bunnies for the fertility and rebirth of life) the children were told these tales.

Legend stated that the Easter bunny would come and visit only the good little girls and boys. He would lay colored eggs for them in his nest. The children would leave their hats as a nest for the Easter bunny to put his eggs into. Bunnies when they have babies if you have never seen really make what looks like a birds nest, made out of straw and grass. The children could think that bunnies laid eggs into them because it looks so much like a birds nest.

Eggs are plentiful in nature during the spring, flowers and new baby animals. They all represent the end of winter and cold dreary days. They can remind us how everything is new and like previously stated the rebirth of the season bringing with it in everything a new life. So it is all melding together now the eggs, Easter bunny, nest which are now baskets for the bunny to leave treats. The tradition is really starting to come alive now.

The word Easter itself is also ties to Ancient Latin word said it is referring to white week or as they said hebdomada alba, the people would wear white and be baptized on easter week. Through translation the old German word esostarum became Easter as we know it. Spanish Pascua, Greek Pascha or Pasch and French Paques cultures all have similar words to mean Passover. (I read that during Passover people eat boiled eggs dipped in salt as renewal symbol- the egg shows again). Passover is the Jewish festival commemorating the ancient Israelites’ exodus from slavery in Egypt. Pascha then eventually changed to mean Easter for some cultures.

Also as we know after Jesus went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover (or Pesach in Hebrew), the crucifixion and resurrection then occurred. Easter, celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Easter is truly Christianity’s most important holiday. It is important to me and my family. Some fundamental Christians use the term “Resurrection Sunday” instead of saying Easter because they feel there is a pagan connotations that come with the term Easter. I understand that but I don’t get it. We need to move on past labels in allot of things we do as a society. I say this respectfully, lets just make it work as a tool then for people. Building bridges…

I believe Jesus was crucified on a cross, spent three days in the grave and then was resurrected to new life. That whole statement I feel can be seen in terms with an egg. There is symbolism in everything and it can be made into a learning experience for our little ones.

 I do not personally see the importance of taking away coloring eggs or the Easter bunny. He can symbolize for children that he brings eggs as a representation of Christ. So the Easter bunny will stay in my house. I just now have even more reason to understand why.

Momma Says: Easter is a time of renewal, lets all renew our family connections. I know I strive daily to be the Mom my kids need. I may stumble along the way but I will always try.

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2 Responses
  1. Keeley says:

    great post! :)

    • MommaSays.net says:

      Thanks, no bentoing for me because of Spring Break…So I will be fresh next week and back at it :)

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