Easter is the time of the Christian year when Christians remember the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. That’s right there’s more to it than Easter eggs! So, What is Easter? Easter Sunday is one of the most festive events among Christians worldwide. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from death, as written in the Christian bible. Easter Sunday commemorates Jesus’ resurrection from death.
It’s possible that the word Easter comes from ‘Eostre’, a Teutonic Goddess of Spring and fertility, but the specific origin of the word isn’t known. The origin of ‘Eostre’ is a Germanic word meaning ‘dawn’, indicating the returning warmth of the sun rays and lengthening days. In Germany, Eostre’s warm nature is still marked by bonfires lit at dawn on the spring equinox.
Moreover, in Christianity, Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus on the third day after his crucifixion which is called Resurrection Sunday originally known as Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday originally started in 325 A.D. Easter can annually fall between March 22nd and April 25th. Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and it is believed that he rose three days later. The three days are known as Easter Triduum.
The Easter Bunny and Easter Eggs
The gesture of giving Easter eggs is from Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks and Romans. In those times the egg meant the symbol of life. However, the Easter bunny has a wide range of different theories and still remains a mystery over so many centuries. Rabbits usually gives birth to a big litter of babies. So they became the symbol of new life which connects to ‘Eostre’. Eostre’s symbol was a hare, therefore the Easter bunny was originally an Easter hare.
Over the years it has become a tradition to hide the Easter eggs around the house or garden which foremost became an Easter egg hunt. Easter is the second highest candy seller in the entire world after Halloween. A theory is that the Easter bunny was mentioned by German immigrants in 1700 in America. Children believed that you should leave a carrot out for the Easter bunny, in case they became hungry. Children decorate baskets which represents nests for sweets. Bunnies are not the only animals associated with Easter, other countries identify Easter with foxes and cuckoo birds. Jelly beans became apart of Easter in 1930s. Egg decorating came about in the 13th century as the eggs represent new life.
Ideas for an Easter Egg Hunt
- Riddles for children – you can describe an object or area and hide the egg. For example, “I am soft, cuddly and your favourite toy”
- Pirate treasure hunt – make a map of the garden, preferably, or the house. Draw things that are easy recognisable and put an ‘x’ for where the egg is.
- Letters to ‘unscramble’ – get hollow, plastic eggs and use pieces of paper to spell out a word and place the letters in the egg. For example EDB can be spelled out as BED.
- Follow the bunny trail – Make bunny footprints out of cardboard and scatter them around. Make sure they are big enough to see and hide an egg!
What is Easter the facts?
- Fry’s of Bristol produced the first chocolate egg in the UK in 1873
- On Easter Sunday, some people traditionally roll painted eggs down steep hills
- Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks and Romans were the first to give eggs at easter. Back then the egg was a symbol of life
- Every child in the UK receives an average of 8.8 Easter eggs every year – double their recommended calorie intake for a whole week
- And finally, when tucking into a chocolate bunny rabbit, 76% of people bite the ears off first!
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