Easter is this very weekend, and as the foremost event within the Christian calendar there is a great deal of anticipation leading towards it. And Easter egg hunts are certainly a great deal of the fun, for many children all over the candy and treats are possibly the best part about the whole experience. However, many have come to question why we even have Easter egg hunts, are they just a money making thing or do they have greater relevance to our society that we seem to be ignoring. We here at Sir Holiday are determined to find out some of the reasons that we really have Easter egg hunts, therefore let’s get to it.
Decorating eggs in colourful manners with watercolour paints and the like is not unique to Christian texts, rather this practise stems from a wide variety of cultures and holidays including the Iranian New Year. Eggs have long been a symbol of fertility and the bringing in of abundance and new possibilities, however there are those who feel that even the idea of an egg in itself has little to do with Christianity. There are those who point to the use of an egg in ancient Europe where people saw the coming of the Spring Equinox – the time where Easter falls – as a period of celebration, a festival of rebirth. Why rebirth, because when spring returns, life returns back to the earth through the coming again of the sun.
However, whatever eggs became tied to this Christian celebration they were firmly cemented into the faith by the 1500’s century. After this time, the eggs were no longer seen as mere edibles during the time of Easter rather the egg was seen as a metaphor for the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ himself. Many even chose to dye the outer shells of the eggs bright red in order to symbolise the blood shed by Jesus for the sins of humanity. It is important to remember that Easter does not only celebrate the resurrection of Christ and his triumph over death, but it also observes the ending of Lent.
Lent is a period of forty days and forty nights where Catholics and other Christians choose to give up habits and items in order to seek a closer relationship with God. The Lent that is practised today is modelled off the forty days and forty nights that Jesus spent in the desert being tempted by the devil, while fasting.
The Easter egg hunts are believed to have also stemmed from pagan traditions, when the German Christian’s brought their Osterhase to Pennsylvania upon immigrating to USA they brought egg hunting as well. Children believed that an Easter bunny would lay eggs for them if they built a bunny a ‘nest’ out of grass that they could leave the eggs in. Later on, children had eggs hidden in grass areas or in large and elaborate nests that they could then hunt for.
And so stems the origins of Easter egg hunts, for all of your holiday information and more visit Sir Holiday.
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