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:
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!