Sunday, April 8, 2012


On Easter weekend, those of the Christian faith celebrate the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, the observation of Easter did not originate with Christianity. Read on to learn about the true origin of the holiday.

“Easter” was taken from “Eastre”. She was the goddess worshipped by the Saxon peoples of Northern Europe. They held festivals every year to celebrate the Spring Equinox - the one time during the spring when the day and the night are of equal length. The festivals were believed to ensure the fertility of both the land and its people.

In ancient times, those of the Jewish faith celebrated Passover around this same time of the year. The Passover feast commemorated the Israelite captivity in Egypt under the cruel hand of the pharaoh. The last plague that God sent on the land was that of the death of every firstborn. Blood on the doorposts of Israelite households spared them as the Angel of Death spread through the land.

Christians decided to celebrate what we now know as Easter at this time also. Early followers were persecuted even after Jesus’ crucifixion. As a result, they held their religious observances to coincide with the pagan holidays. They called their remembrance, Easter - a derivative of Eastre. The idea behind the two occasions is different, but they share common symbols and traditions that people still use today.

The Easter bunny

 The rabbit was the symbol of Eastre, the Saxon goddess. The idea of the rabbit as a part of Christian tradition was introduced in colonial days by the Germans. Children are taught that the Easter Bunny brings treats on the night before Easter, much like Santa Claus during Christmas.

The Cross

The symbol of the cross has been associated with Christianity and Easter since the first centuries after Jesus’ death. The cross was a symbol of cruelty throughout the Roman Empire. Today, those who practice Christianity view it as a badge of courage and salvation.

Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs became the symbol of resurrection of Jesus Christ—rebirth of mankind. Christians embraced the Easter Egg and compared it to the tomb from which Christ resurrected. In fact, Easter Eggs are also exchanged as gifts among friends and relatives for the celebration of Easter.

Easter Lamb

Easter Lamb is a significant symbol of Easter celebrations throughout the world. Easter Lamb symbolized Christ with a flag of victory. This symbol is seen in every Central and Eastern European family. Lamb also forms the center of attraction of Easter dinner table. Importance of Lamb has its roots in the Jewish tradition of Pesah. Pasch Lamb was also very famous.

Easter Lily

Trumpet-shaped flower, Easter Lily is a fragrant flower, all in pure white. With this flower, people celebrate and enjoy the very essence of life as well as Easter. This flower is significant because it is said to have sprung from the place where the sweat of Jesus Christ fell. This flower is said to usher in the greater significance of new life—new blooms and new meaning for Easter.

Hot Cross Buns

Christians are in their high spirits during this occasion since this festival has a tremendous importance for them in their religious faith. It is celebrated and welcomed with lots of love and warmth and by feasting with scrumptious food. Easter Hot Cross Buns are typical Easter Specials/Symbols. The pastry on the top of the bun reminds us of the cross on which Lord Christ was crucified. Hence, this holds a great significance for all Christians.


One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and

bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. When

Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to

them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of

God belongs to those who are like these children” Mark 10:13-14

To feel secure, all children need is a loving look and gentle touch from someone who cares. They believe us because they trust us. Jesus said that people should trust in him with this kind of childlike faith. Thoughts of children and spring remind us of Easter and the resurrection of Christ. Preparation often includes fasting, cross walks, special church activities, and decorating colorful eggs with younger children. Ukranian painted eggs have an interesting history that often reflects the faith and personality of the artist through the use of symbols and color. Some of the  most used symbols and their Christian meaning are described below.

A ribbon or belt around the egg symbolizes eternity.

 Pine needles represent youth and  health.

Dots or small circles represent stars or constellations.

The fish is an ancient symbol for Christ.

Deer and horses represent wealth and prosperity.

A sieve or a net suggests fishing.

Grapes symbolize the “good fruits” of Christian life.

Ladders suggest prayer.

Small baskets or triangles symbolize the Holy Trinity.

 A leaf or flower suggests life and growth.

 An eight-pointed star is an ancient symbol for Christ.

A butterfly is a symbol of the resurrection.

 A cross signifies the suffering and resurrection of Christ.

Colors also have a variety of representations such as white for purity, yellow for a successful harvest and wisdom, green for rebirth and spring, orange for endurance and ambition, and blue for sky, air, and good health.

Create special times with children in your life by drawing and painting eggs with symbols that have historical meaning.

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