Easter, the meaning behind the traditions

Easter marks a turning point in the year when you just know the warm weather and greenery is on its way.  In fact, the word ‘Easter’ is derived from Eostre, the goddess of Spring.

Eostre Goddess of Spring

Eostre Goddess of Spring

Like the resurgence of the crocuses, Easter represents a time for renewal. Thus, your rituals should include the wearing of a brand new outfit and a beautifully adorned bonnet to mark this spiritual rebirth.

Red and blue Easter eggs

Image originally posted to Flickr by Pål Berge at http://www.flickr.com/photos/paalb/7561040/ licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0.

Whether you are painting your eggs green like the Germans did or red like the Greeks, the symbolic egg is sure to be included in your celebration. Since eggs were forbidden during Lent in Medieval Europe, eggs that were hatched during that time had to be boiled to be preserved and then formed an integral part in the Easter feast.  Eggs are also a symbol of fertility.

Another Easter staple, the Easter Basket. (Picnic baskets @PrimaBambolina.com)

Another staple, the Easter Basket. (Picnic baskets @PrimaBambolina.com)

So how did the bunny come into the picture?  Well, like the Christmas tree, we have the Germans to thank for including rabbits in the celebration.  Since rabbits are reputed for their fertility, it seems natural that a tale of a fertile hare who lays eggs for children to discover became part of the institution of Easter.

Have you initiated any of your own traditions?


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