· Easter has deep pagan roots and was originally the festival of Ostara, named after the Teutonic Goddess Eostre. She was the Goddess of Spring and fertility.
· Under Constantine in the 4th century AD, the Christians assimilated this festival and called it the Resurrection. The Easter parade dates back to Constantine the Great, who ordered the people to adorn themselves in lavish colors and clothes to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
· Hot cross buns come to us from the Anglo-Saxon tradition of Eostre, named after that fruitful goddess. It is believed that the buns were marked with a cross to symbolize the four quarters of the moon. Others claim that the Greeks marked cakes with a cross, much earlier. Here’s a recipe for hot cross buns to help celebrate the season.
· The Easter egg originated in Persia more that five thousand years ago, where they used colored eggs as a celebration of spring and a memento of good wishes. The Greeks continued this tradition, later adding the symbolism of fertility. In ancient times, eggs were sometimes left in tombs as a charm to aid rebirth, or given to children to keep them healthy.
· Easter rabbits have also been popular in many cultures, including those of Japan and China, where the rabbit is associated with the moon. Since the full moon is a symbol of fruitfulness, the rabbit (which happens to possess the ability to reproduce prolifically) delivers eggs and is a sign of fertility.
BTW – Ever wonder how they come up with the date for Easter every year? It’s all about the moon. Easter lands on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. And that’s good info to know when playing a trivia game. Happy Holidays, everyone!
Image: 123rf.com stock photo 4357893