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It’s Easter – Bring on the Eggs, Bunnies, Hats, Candy and Chicks!

Posted by Administrator on 4/19/2014

Easter is Christianity's most important holiday and is being observed by an estimated 2 Billion people over this weekend. Given the significance and solemnity of Easter, it’s interesting to note the number of well, shall we say fascinating secular symbols, which have developed around this serious religious observance.

 

Of course the most prominent of all is the Easter Bunny. The exact origins of this individual are unclear, however it’s generally accepted that rabbits are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life. Please note - We have no idea how he got the suit. According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants and the tradition eventually spread across the country.

 

The egg, another ancient symbol of new life, has long been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. To ancient Christians, ever alert to the opportunity to incorporate pagan traditions into their new church, Easter eggs represent Jesus' emergence from the tomb and resurrection. The chick, hatching out of the egg, symbolizes new life or rebirth.

 

Since Easter symbolizes the end of Lent, i.e. a time of refraining from the pleasures of life, e.g. candy, chocolate, etc., it wasn’t long before confectioners began creating candy in shapes and images associated with Easter. Some of the most popular treats associated with the season are chocolate eggs, which date back to early 19th century Europe. Another favorite egg-shaped candy, the jelly bean, became associated with Easter in the 1930s and of course there’s the ever-popular marshmallow chicks known as Peeps, which appeared in the 1950s.

 

And for those of us who lived through many years of large floral hats and frilly pastel dresses it must be gratifying to note that hats show respect and honor, especially in European traditions, so festive hats became part of the Easter ritual – don’t ask about the frilly flowery frocks, they matched the hat!

 
Essentially all of these symbols celebrate new life and new beginnings and we can use this Easter season as an opportunity to recommit to our planet, to cherishing the earth which is our home!
 
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