Easter is upon us again, this year landing on April 16th! Easter is the first Sunday after the paschal full moon that occurs on or after the vernal equinox. If the full moon falls on a Sunday, then Easter is the following Sunday. The holiday can occur anywhere between March 22 and April 25. In celebration of this holiday, we are going to look at the origin, and some of the ,most popular traditions that surround the Easter Holiday.
For Christians, Easter is a deeply religious holiday, celebrating the day Jesus arose from the dead after the Crucifixion. It has also become a highly commercial event, full of chocolate rabbits, decorated Easter baskets, and colorful eggs. And, of course, there’s the Easter Bunny, dropping off baskets of treats in the middle of the night to delight children everywhere on Easter morning. But how did all the candy chicks, chocolate bunnies, and dyed eggs become such a large part of the celebration?
The Easter Egg! The Easter egg is symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Painting Easter eggs is an especially beloved tradition in the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches where the eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross. However today the painting of Easter eggs has become much more common, and looked at as more of a fun Easter activity to do with your family, it is common to see more than just a red painted egg, as more creative designs have worked their way into the tradition. Today you are likely to see eggs of all different colors and patterns!
The Easter Bunny! The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific pro creators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life. According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700’s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.
Easter Candy! Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday in America, after Halloween. Among the most popular sweet treats associated with this day are chocolate eggs! Eggs have long been associated with Easter as a symbol of new life and Jesus’ resurrection. Another egg-shaped candy, the jelly bean, became associated with Easter in the 1930’s. It’s estimated that over 16 billion jelly beans are made in the U.S. each year for Easter!
That is a little incite into some of the more common Easter traditions, and how the date for Easter is chosen! Whatever plans you may have for Easter this year, we hope they are great! It is an important time to spend with family, regardless if you come from a religious background! Happy Easter!