What is Easter, and what does it have to do with bunnies?


Photo Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/events/happy-easter-sunday-2020-images-quotes-wishes-messages-cards-greetings-pictures-and-gifs/articleshow/75097498.cms

Isaac Nisolo

Easter’s coming up, (depending on when you read this it may have passed already), everyone’s favorite holiday about guests breaking into your property and leaving gifts… wait, that’s Christmas… everyone’s favorite holiday where you walk around and collect candy… no, wait, that’s Halloween. I guess Easter is everybody’s favorite holiday where what it’s identity and celebrations are not clearly defined beyond: there is a bunny that lays eggs.

Most people at least know that Easter itself is meant to celebrate the belief of the rebirth of Jesus in the religion of Christianity, but where do eggs and bunnies and all the other Easter celebrations come into play? Especially considering that as far as I know, rabbits don’t lay eggs. Many people have conflicting beliefs on what the Easter Bunny symbolizes, but one fact that remained true in all of my research is that it comes from Pagan roots, and have very little to do with the rebirth aspect of the holiday. In fact, almost none of the more popular traditions really have anything to do with Christianity, as many historians believe that the holiday was originally a day the Pagan’s celebrated their god Eostre (hence the name, Easter) and the beginning of Spring. Eggs represent birth and fertility, and bunnies do as well, and because the Pagan god Eostre was the god of fertility, the bunnies and eggs were part of the original celebration of the start of spring. The bunnies and the eggs are a part of Easter completely separately to the rebirth of Jesus aspect, which seems to have been added to make the holiday more Christian while keeping the roots of the original holiday intact, especially considering Spring does symbolize rebirth, so both aspects of the holiday, although separate, do work well together.

Another strange thing about Easter is how popular it is. About 80% of Americans celebrate Easter, and yes, I know, it’s a Christian holiday, but Christmas is as well, and 90% of Americans celebrate that, even considering that only about 63% percent of the US population today are Christians. This could become a completely different conversation about how Easter and Christmas seem to be slowly losing their roots in Christianity, but that’s a much more complicated question that isn’t what this is about anyway. MANY people celebrate Easter, especially considering (this may shock you), only around 65% of Americans celebrate Halloween. Yes, Easter is more popular in the USA then Halloween. If that doesn’t shock you, I don’t know what will.

Moving on from the popularity of Easter, let’s talk about the traditions. Most of the common ones don’t have much to do with Christianity, like the egg hunt, which seems to have some German origins, the egg dyeing, Easter baskets, the hollow chocolates, and rolling eggs down a hill with a spoon, which seems to be popular as it is celebrated at the WHITE HOUSE, yet I have never heard of it? Is this just me? Does everybody else know about this? There are also some traditions that seem to be less popular due to the large amount of Easter celebrators that aren’t actively Christian, like reading the bible with the whole family. And there’s also a third section of traditions, and I think the best word to describe them is obscure. They aren’t very popular in the US, but some of them are just so- interesting, that I couldn’t leave them out. My personal favorite is a tradition that is celebrated in New Guinea and possibly New Zealand as well, which arose from the problem that after going to church, all the chocolates outside melted. So they decided, instead of just bringing the chocolates inside or something, they knew that the best course of action would be to replace the chocolate with a different tasty treat for the whole family… what could it be? Tobacco, obviously. Yes, but where would they put the tobacco and cigarettes? Obviously as decorations in trees near the church, where else? It’s a perfect idea! I have no idea if this is still used today, probably not because now we know how deadly tobacco and cigarettes are, but the image of a Christmas tree decorated with cigarettes is going to stay in my mind forever now. I hope the cigarettes weren’t lit or else the people would have a large problem on their hands really fast.

Anyway, I hope you learned something today about Easter and the celebrations people take part in on this holiday. All traditions and beliefs are great, (even tobacco trees, no matter the fire hazard,) and this article was just to hopefully spread some light on what Easter is because for me personally, it has always been the most confusing holiday. Thanks for reading and goodbye.