Sunday, March 23, 2008
Is Easter a big deal for your family?
I guess it depends on the religious history within one's family unit. Personally, it's not the biggest deal for my family. We still get together for dinner but I don't attend mass or egg hunts (unfortunately).
What do you like about Easter?
What are your favorite candies to receive in the Easter basket? (Let's say hypothetically if you were a child again, or when you were a child)
How did Easter become egg hunts, dying eggs, pastel colors, and Easter bunnies at the mall? How did this religious holiday where Jesus rose from the dead turn out into the commercial holiday that it is? Does anyone actually know?
I looked up on Wikipedia the only reference they have to the holiday. When you research 'Easter' the website offers religious ceremonies, derivations, everything religion-oriented, yet that's not how most Americans know the tradition or the holiday.
So then, I clicked on Easter bunny. This is the history I researched:
Easter: "In English, the etymology of the word "Easter" comes from an ancient pagan goddess of the spring named Eostre, related to German Ostara. According to popular folklore, Eostre once saved a bird whose wings had frozen during the winter by turning it into a rabbit. Because the rabbit had once been a bird, it could still lay eggs, and that rabbit became the modern Easter Bunny."
Easter Bunny: "The Easter Bunny is a mythological rabbit who brings gifts and candy to children on the Easter holiday, most likely based on pre-Christian customs honoring the fertility goddess Eostre."
"The idea of an egg-laying bunny came to the United States in the 18th century. German immigrants in the Pennsylvania Dutch area told their children about the "Osterhas," sometimes spelled "Oschter Haws." "Hase" means "hare," not rabbit, and in Northwest European folklore the "Easter Bunny" indeed is a hare, not a rabbit. According to the legend, only good children received gifts of colored eggs in the nests that they made in their caps and bonnets before Easter. Jakob Grimm wrote of long-standing similar myths in Germany itself. Noting many related landmarks and customs, Grimm suggested that these derived from legends of Ostara."
Easter Eggs: "The precise origin of the ancient custom of coloring eggs is not known. The Persians paint and decorate eggs as one of the required items for the Persian New Year (Nowrooz), celebrated on the Vernal Equinox, which usually falls on March 20th or 21st. The decorated eggs must be displayed on the "Haft Seen", the Persian New Year table. This tradition has been followed anually for at least 2,500 years. Greeks to this day typically dye their Easter eggs red, the color of blood, in recognition of the renewal of life in springtime (and, later, the blood of the sacrificed Christ). In the Eastern Orthodox Church, tradition says that Mary Magdalene converted people to Christianity with a red egg. This is why her icon often depicts a red egg. Some also use the color green, in honor of the new foliage emerging after the long dead time of winter."
What do you think? Kind of interesting, huh?