What does Easter mean for believers and for non-believers
Whether you’re a believer or non believer of the existence of a God or Gods, Easter has more to offer than religious messages, it can also be a fun time especially for children and chocolate lovers.
For believers it probably sandwiches two of the most important dates in the Christian calendar, the crucifixion and the rising again or resurrection.
What cannot be disputed is that its a period when, for the most part, love and positive feelings are the norm and the human race generally come together to show love to one another.
Whether you believe in the crucifixion and the rising again of Jesus, or whether you feel its just another chapter in the greatest fairytale ever told, Easter has something to offer most of us.
What is the Easter Bunny all about?
Its difficult to know for sure and it depends where you live, but one theory is that cousins of our friend Peter Rabbit and their involvement in Easter may originate from a pagan tradition, the festival of Eostre, a goddess of fertility who was often depicted as a rabbit, well known for their passionate breeding, and therefore symbols of fertility.
Where do eggs come into the Easter story?
Eggs often depict new life, and egg decorating for Easter dates back to the 13th century. Way back then it was common place for people to give up eggs for Lent, which meant that they could be eaten one again at Easter time, maybe people were so delighted at being able to eat eggs again that they started to decorate them and give them as gifts?
Later in the 19th century Russian high society did just that, exchanging ornately decorated eggs, even jewel encrusted Faberge eggs at Easter.
What is the link between bunnies and eggs?
It is widely believed that a floppy eared bearer of candy was introduced to the Americas by German immigrants in the 1700’s. Their tradition of an egg laying hare named Osterhase or Oschter Haws quickly spread and children made grassy nests for the coloured egg laying animal.
It was only a matter of time before eggs were joined by candy and chocolate and the traditional is likely to have evolved into coloured eggs painted with chocolate. Over time, the straw nests were replaced by elaborately decorated baskets to add more sophistication to the gift giving.
So when you see an Easter bunny or tuck into your Easter egg this Easter, bare in mind that you are continuing traditions which are hundreds of years old, enjoy it and have fun, spread love and be kind.
If you are a believer, remember that God loves all of his children and there is no need to isolate any individual or group, as this is not what God would want you to do.