Easter is a Christian festival that celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ which the Bible stated happened on the third day after he was buried. It usually occurs after the 40 days of fasting and prayer called lent and it is observed by the Catholic Christians. But what do you know about your favorite time of the year filled with colorful eggs and loving bunnies?
Here are some facts about Easter that have been overlooked over the years.
There was an Anglo-Saxon goddess named Ēostre. She was believed to be the goddess of fertility and rebirth. In his book titled the reckoning of time, Bede stated that in April, the Anglo Saxons held feasts in the honor of Ēostre, but this tradition gradually faded with the dawning of Christianity and Christian festivals.
During April, her worshippers welcomed in spring by offering gifts to this German goddess. Her symbols were eggs and the hare. The hare signified fertility while the eggs meant rebirth. Her festivals involved egg gifting, welcoming in the spring and sometimes farmers prayed to her for a bountiful harvest while young women prayed to her for fruits if the womb.
All these were before the era of Christianity. Some people, however, believe that Easter was nothing but a continuation of the rituals of the goddess Ēostre.
Gifting and taking of eggs were there before Christianity. Contrary to popular belief, the tradition of painting eggs, hiding and gifting them was already in place before Christianity. It usually symbolized birth, life, and rebirth and started in Mesopotamia.
The eggs were initially chicken eggs but eventually evolved into edibles like chocolate.The first Easter eggs were manufactured in 1875 by a British chocolate company called Cadbury and they sponsored the annual Easter eggs Hunt which takes place in over 550 Nations Trust locations.
- Everything dates back to Old Germany. The Easter Bunny was a tradition observed by the Germans during the middle ages. With the high influx of immigrants from Europe to America in the 17th century, those German traditions came with them. Dutch Settlers in Pennsylvania were believed to have brought it to the United States.
The White House Easter egg tradition started in 1878 when the US President Rutherford B. Hayes was approached by some kids and asked about having an Easter egg roll and he agreed. After seeing how much fun the kids had and how it brought them all together, he decided to make it into a tradition. This is what gave birth to the Easter egg hunt at the lawn of the white house.
- You might know it as Easter, but that is not all it is. Easter is also called Pascha in both Greek and Latin or Resurrection Sunday and moveable feast.
- During the 17th century, dyed eggs were accepted as birth certificates. Sounds strange but true. People who lived very far away from town halls where childbirths were recorded and birth certificate issues used colored eggs with name and date of birth as birth certificate and were accepted by the court officials and other authorities.
- Because the bunny is a major pest in Australia, people did not welcome the idea of the Easter bunny when it was first introduced. So in march 1968 when Rose-Marie Dusting wrote “Billy The Aussie Easter Bilby,” at age 9, it gave birth to an alternative to the Easter Bunny called Easter Bilby.
- In the spirit of taking things to the next level, the largest recorded egg hunt occurred In 2007. About five hundred and one thousand eggs were hidden in Cypress Gardens Adventure Park where 9753 children participated in the hunt.