While Good Friday is strictly a religious occasion, Easter Sunday is a celebration that people enjoy across cultures and religions. In the modern interpretation of Easter, the resurrection of Christ takes a back seat to Easter eggs, chocolate and the ever present, Easter bunny who have become well recognized staples of the holiday in popular culture. It can be interesting to look at the origins of today’s more commercial Easter and see how the holiday is still evolving.
Some may wonder how the bunny come into play when there is such a large focus on Christ and religion during the holiday. Originally, the occasion was named for the goddess, “Eostre”, who represents fertility and spring. At the time, this was a popular celebration for pagan religions, and Christians adopted and adapted many of their practices. The hare was also a symbol of fertility for many pagan groups and Christians later used it to represent the rebirth of Christ. Eggs were also seen as a symbol of life and are utilized for similar reasons. The prominence of both these aspects in modern Easter celebrations is likely due to their more accessible family-friendly nature versus the more solemn crucifixion imagery.
The festivities on Easter Sunday come as a welcome change of pace to those observing a fast for Good Friday or the weeks before. Many of us have fond memories of painting Easter eggs as children, and that trend has only grown over time with many parents and art enthusiasts now making their own elaborate toys and recipes. It has become common for many to maintain “do-it-yourself” atmosphere when concocting new Easter festivities. This not only helps to keep kids involved in actively celebrating the holiday, but it also provides a more lasting memory than simply receiving toys or chocolate.
Regardless of how you decide to celebrate the holiday, have a happy Easter!
Lance | DBPC Blog