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Easter eggs, Easter bunny, Easter fun

Easter_Egg_Tree_AP_Photo_Jens_Meyer.jpg

AP Photo/Jens Meyer

April 4th is Easter Sunday, when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. For Christians, this triumph over death and sin by the sacrificed Lamb of God is often considered the most sacred day of the year.

On this joyful day, many Christian children will be:

  • hunting for Easter eggs,
  • eating chocolate Easter bunnies, and
  • finding a basket from the Easter bunny.

As great fun as this is for young children and their families, an inconsistency is often realized at some point:


AP Photo/
Czarek Sokolowski

It is not uncommon for Christian children to ask with wide-eyed wonder, “Why do we hunt for eggs on Easter? Why does the Easter Bunny come to visit us on Easter?” In other words, “What is the relationship between the resurrection of Jesus Christ and colorful plastic eggs? Or a giant fluffy bunny?” 

The answer from many experts is: nothing. Eggs and rabbits are fertility symbols that are traditionally incorporated into Pagan celebrations of spring. Furthermore, one theory about the origin of the word “Easter” is that it stems from the name of the goddess of spring: “Eostre.”

Some Pagans might be upset about their fertility symbols being “stolen” by Easter Sunday, and some Christians might be offended by the notion that one of their most important holidays of the year is apparently filled with non-Christian symbols (and named after a goddess). But the spiritual teachings gently urge us to let go of any negative thoughts that keep us from just enjoying the celebration – eggs, bunnies, and all! The way we choose to celebrate the special and sacred events in our lives is not as important as the meaningful events themselves. As written in Everyday Tao, “The ancients understood the ephemeral and advised their students not to take life too seriously.”

I wish you all a Happy Easter and a Happy Spring!

Click here to view 2010 Easter Events in Miami

Comments

  • Jorge Valdes Miamiai Catholic Examiner 4 years ago

    Great thoughts Dr. Deb. I would add that all Christians are offended by the notion that our most signicant and holiest of days in the liturgical calendar is stolen by mainstream society and supported by the liberal media. However you are right to allow all to celebrate the day accordingly because we Christian parents (especially moms haha) get too excited about our children participating in "Egg Hunts" and meeting the "So-called Easter Bunny" We just have to make sure that we teach our what is most important so that they can grow in their faith. God bless us all.

  • Dr. Deb 4 years ago

    Thanks Jorge!

    I've been thinking there might also be value in teaching Christian children about all known inconsistencies within Christianity, not just the Pagan origins of Easter eggs, the Easter bunny, and Christmas trees. For example, I was in college when I read that the story of the Virgin Mary giving birth is not unique. The world's greatest heroes are also said to have been born to virgin mothers: Buddha, Osiris, Genghis Khan, Gilgamesh, and more. I think Christian children will experience much less internal religious conflict as teens/adults when their parents have prepared them to thoughtfully consider and incorporate into their belief systems these kinds of well-known historical/literary points. Peace!