The Origins of Five Popular Easter Traditions

By March 27, 2016Lifestyle, Smile

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Ever wondered where the traditions of Easter actually came from? Why we hunt for eggs? Why there is an egg laying bunny? How does all that make up a religious holiday? You wont find these answers in the bible, but you will find them within the pages of history.

 

5. Where Did The Egg Laying Rabbit Come From?

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Although the exact historical reasons for the Easter rabbit are unknown, rabbits were an ancient symbol of fertility and new life, and according to some sources, they made their debut in the United States around the 1700’s with German immigrants who brought over their traditions of an egg laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschterhaws.” Their childern would make nests where the hare could lay its colored eggs. The tradition spread across the Unites States and the legend grew into the hare also leaving behind chocolate and other treats. Children would even leave behind carrots for the exhausted easter bunny to recover from all his intense hopping.

 

4. Why Do We Decorate Eggs?

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This tradition actually predates christianity, in many cultures around the world the egg represents fertility and new life. The decorating of eggs can be dated all the way back to Africa with the discovery of decorated ostrich eggs which are 60,000 years old! Sumerians and Egyptians were also known to decorate Ostrich eggs and put them inside graves. It is believed that this is where Islamic and Christian cultures adopted the tradition, with Iranians painting them for the Iranian new years holiday, Nowruz, and Christians painting them red to symbolize Jesus’ blood.

 

3. What Is The Origin Of Easter Candy?

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Easter is the number two holiday for sales of candy, following Halloween. The number one Easter candy has been the Jelly Bean, an egg shaped candy that became associated with Easter in the 1930’s, sources state it actually dates back even earlier to a Biblical-era concoction called a Turkish Delight. The Peep, another popular easter candy was created by the Pennsylvania based Company Just Born who began selling peeps in the 1950’s, later on more flavors were introduced including Chocolate Mousse bunnies.

 

2.Why Does The Date Change For Celebrating Easter?

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Easter Aquothories. Ancient place of worship, dedicated to the moon goddess.

Easter is calculated as 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. Easter is a movable feast because the earliest believers wished to keep the observance of Easter correlated to the Jewish Passover.  The Belief was that the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ happened after the Passover, so followers wanted Easter to always be celebrated following the Passover.  The origins of this convoluted system for working out when Easter will fall is the result of a mix of Hebrew, Roman and Egyptian calendars, culture and customs.

 

1. Where Did The Name ‘Easter’ Come From?

Ostara_by_Johannes_Gehrts

 The most accepted theory on the origin of the word ‘Easter’ was that it was adopted from the Goddess Eostre or also known as ‘Ostara’ who was a Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, mentioned by a 7th to 8th century English monk named Bede, who wrote that Ēosturmōnaþ (Old English ‘Month of Ēostre’, translated in Bede’s time as “Paschal month”) was an English month, corresponding to April, which he says “was once called after a goddess of theirs named Ēostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month”.

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Author Jesse Duffy

When Jesse is not writing for Rockably he can be found playing music, enjoying new tech and tasting unique beers!

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