Sunday, April 12, 2009
Cutting out eggs and bunnies for Monica's kids made me wonder about origins of Easter symbols. Many symbols of this holiday were started in the Old World. They have been passed down from generation to generation and are still carried on today.
Of course, the cross and the crucifix are the two main symbols of the Easter holiday. The cross is a reminder to Christians of Jesus Christ's sacrifice and of his victory over death. His resurrection symbolizes the eternal life that is granted to all who believe in Him. Thank you Jesus.
However, Easter did not always symbolize Christ's resurrection from the dead and the meaning of Easter was quite different than what Christians celebrate today. The feast day of Easter was originally a pagan celebration of renewal and rebirth. Celebrated in the early spring, it honored the pagan Saxon goddess Eastre. When the early missionaries converted the Saxons to Christianity, the holiday, since it fell around the same time as the traditional memorial of Christ's resurrection from the dead, was merged with the pagan celebration, and became know as Easter. The meaning of Easter was also changed to reflect its new Christian orientation.
The white Bermuda Lily with it's ample blooms is the Eastertime flower. It represents purity and the pure life that comes to believers through the resurrection of Christ.
Rabbits and chicks stand for the rebirth of the earth. Rabbits are also associated with the fertility of spring because they can produce young at an astonishing rate. Undoubtedly the most popular rabbit, although he's fictitious, is "The Easter Bunny." The Easter Bunny supposedly brings Easter eggs and baskets filled with candy to all of the girls and boys. Are peeps supposed to be edible or just cute?
The Easter eggs came into being as a symbol of "new life." Usually, Easter eggs are hard-boiled chicken eggs. They were first colored by the pagans to resemble the return of the sunlight, as well as the Northern Lights in the sky.