While people look forward to the Easter season and the religious implications of the holiday, what some may not know is how the commercial aspect of Easter came to be part of the holiday. Where did the Easter bunny come from? Why do people color eggs? How do the commercial symbols of Easter relate back to religion?
Many children may wake up on Easter morning to go and hunt for their Easter baskets, but even adults may not know how the Easter bunny became associated with Easter. The idea of the Easter bunny originated from the pagan festival, Eastre, but the the American Easter bunny is based upon the German folk tale “Oschter Haws” which said if children were good, “Oschter Haws” would lay them a nest of colored eggs. This is where the idea of Easter baskets came into play as well. The night before “Oschter Haws” was coming, children would build nests for their eggs. The bunny is also a symbol of fertility, so it also represents new life in the spring season.
Why people color eggs around Easter is another mystery to many. In several cultures, the egg is a symbol of rebirth and since spring is a fertile season, the egg is perfect for the Easter holiday. Eggs were originally decorated in bright colors to symbolize the many colors of spring but also in other colors, such a crimson, to represent the blood of Christ. As many Easter celebrants may enjoy coloring eggs, egg-shaped chocolates are also very popular. Elise Mascia (`13) says, “Chocoloate eggs and chocolate bunnies are two of the most common treats.”
Though commercial and religious symbols of the Easter season are widely known, not everyone knows what the images stand for. Easter candles that are lit during the Easter season in churches symbolize the resurrection of Jesus because He is the light of the world. The cross obviously represents the crucifixion of Jesus while the Easter lily, the flower commonly associated with Easter, represents the resurrection of Jesus.
With so many Easter traditions for people to celebrate, there are also completely original traditions that students here at the Academy celebrate:
“My mom hides the baskets for us to find, but we have to find them fast before our dog, Sparky, does!” –Kristina Snyder (`11)
“My cousins all come over to by Shelby Broadbent `13 color eggs. We get really competitive about it, and we try and make ours the best!” –Shelby Broadbent (`13)
“We always leave carrots out for the Easter bunny and sometimes when we come down in the morning, there are nibbles taken out of the carrots. We are unsure as to whether it’s my pup, Pokey or the Easter Bunny!” –Matt Pestotnik (`11)