Easter Facts You May Not Know
Easter facts are rarely given much thought to. Do YOU know why we celebrate Easter and what eggs, bunnies, and baskets have to do with it all? You’re about to find out as we delve into Easter facts to discover the meaning behind the traditions of this particular holiday.
Easter is a Christian holiday. It is a holiday which celebrates the resurrection of Christ. According to Christian history, Jesus was crucified on a Friday and rose three days later—on Sunday. Back in 325 AD, the “church council of Nicaea” decided that Easter should be made a true holiday. They also stated that it should be held on the first Sunday after the full moon landing after the 21st of March, which is the Equinox. This means that Easter can land anywhere between the 22nd of March to the 25th of April.
You may be asking yourself, what’s with the decorating and exchanging of eggs? Decorating and giving away eggs for Easter has been done for ages. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans did this as a symbol of life. Many of the early Christians used to exchange red eggs in particular to symbolize the ending and resurrection of Jesus’s life.
Rabbits have a similar meaning to that of eggs. The ancient Egyptians believed that the symbol of new life (or rebirth) was the rabbit. However, rabbits are also a symbol of the moon. Therefore rabbits have somewhat of a double meaning for Easter in that the moon determines the date of the holiday as well as the rebirth of Jesus. The myth of the Easter Bunny, as he is currently portrayed today, actually dates back to an old German tale about a woman who used to decorate eggs and leave them for her children to find. This story was based in a time when a famine was plaguing the land; therefore the eggs were considered a valuable and surprising gift. It is reported that as her children found the eggs they saw a bunny rabbit hopping away. Naturally, the children thought the bunny had left the eggs for them!
Back in Medieval times, there used to be a celebration known as “egg throwing”. The Catholic church would have an egg throwing festival actually IN the church. Shortly before 12, the priest would toss a boiled egg at the choir boys. Whichever boy caught the egg would toss it to another boy, who would then pass it on to another, and so on. They would continue to throw the egg until the clock struck 12. Whoever was holding the egg when the clock chimed got to keep it!
The following are a few random Easter facts that you might find interesting. The first Easter baskets given were meant to imitate a bird’s nest when eggs were placed inside. According to surveys, the Easter candy most eaten by children is red jellybeans. Seventy six percent of people who eat chocolate bunnies start at the ears. Aside from Halloween, the most candy produced for a holiday is Easter. The holiday’s name is actually derived from a “goddess” named Eastre. She was the symbol of the rabbit and the egg. Quite suiting for a holiday celebrating re-birth, don’t you think?
As you can see, Easter has been celebrated in some form or another for many, many years! It may have become a national holiday in 325 AD, but people have been celebrating the resurrection of Jesus long before then. While some of our traditions have become slightly skewed from their original selves, they still have a firm basis within both the church and society.