Don’t panic, but Easter is right around the corner.
I was abruptly reminded of this on the weekend when I visited our local mall.
It seemed every store featured fine displays of brightly coloured spring clothing, toys, Easter baskets filled with dyed eggs, and chocolate bunnies.
On the drive home, I was thinking about these things and came to the realization that I had no idea why our Easter celebration involved rabbits and eggs.
So I set out to do a little research and this is what I learned.
I call it, An Easter Story About Rabbits and Eggs.
A very long time ago, in a land far away (unless you happen to live in Europe), there was a group of people known as Pagans.
These Pagans were not wealthy, but material things were not important to them.
They loved the natural world, even named their gods after the seasons of the year, and so it was, “Eastre”, their goddess of Spring, who became the namesake of a great festival held every Spring around the time of the equinox.
In due time, the festival was adopted by early Christians for the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, and our Easter was born.
But what does that have to do with rabbits?
OK, the Easter Bunny is believed to have originated with German Lutherans. Their “Easter Hare” was said to have been a “judge” of children’s behavior, you know, “bad or good”.
Sounds very familiar, doesn’t it?
Anyway, this “Hare”, carried a basket of coloured eggs, to hand out to children on the eve of Easter.
The giving of eggs may have been more practical than anything else. It seems that Orthodox religions abstain from eating eggs during the fast of Lent.
With all of those eggs piling up, they were probably boiled, to preserve them, and not have them go to waste.
When the fasting was over, and it was time to celebrate, they had an abundant supply of handouts, ready to go.
It certainly wouldn’t be too difficult to imagine them decorating or colouring the eggs, in some fashion, to add to the festivities of the day.
So there you have it. Easter rabbits and Easter eggs. Who knew?
Do you have an Easter story? How do you and your family usually celebrate Easter?