Easter provides ‘Egg’ strodinary history

Kids frolicked through their backyards looking for colored eggs. Parents watched and saw the loads of Easter eggs they had collected in their baskets. This was a modern Easter tradition, but this was not always the way people celebrated it.

For Christians, Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. The day of Easter is determined on the Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox (when the sun is exactly above the equator) which is March 20.

Jewish Christians were the first to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. They timed the observation related to Passover.

There are many holidays that lead up to Easter. Palm Sunday was the day Jesus entered Jerusalem, Maundy Thursday was Jesus’ last supper before his crucifixion, and Good Friday was the day Jesus was crucified (killed by binding to a cross). Holy Saturday commemorates the day that Jesus laid in his tomb after his death and Easter Sunday celebrates his resurrection.

Before modern day traditions, Christians spent time in church. They went to services called Tenebrae, which is Latin for darkness. They were held from Wednesday to the rest of the week. The services were in the dark with one candle holder, to show that darkness was falling on the world.

However, other cultural influences have been meshed in to the original holiday. According to history.com, the word Easter was derived from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility, which is not related to the Christian celebration of the resurrection.

According to history.com, the idea of the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700’s. It started with two German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and sported their tradition of an egg laying hare. Their children made nests in which this creature would lay its colored eggs. The children would search for the eggs it had left behind.

Easter is believed to have its roots from paganism. The egg, a symbol of life and rebirth for thousands of years, came to represent the resurrection of Jesus. Easter eggs were dyed red to symbolize his blood. Early Christianity made a pragmatic acceptance of ancient pagan practices, most of which people do at Easter.

A popular Easter candy, the Peep, has a backstory going back to the 1900’s. A man named Sam Born immigrated from Russia to the United States. Born had bought a company that had produced a small marshmallow line. Born started to produce them and they were a hit.

According to the Fiscal Times, Easter spending this year was estimated to hit $17.3 billion with about 80 percent of people celebrating the holiday.

Many Christians celebrate Easter each year by going to church for services, doing an egg hunt, and having family dinners.