Easter is the Next Halloween
In America, Halloween and Easter share a lot of similar traits:
- Trick or Treat vs. Easter Egg Hunts
- Costumes vs. Sunday Best (For Church)
Definitive Color Schemes
- Black/Orange vs. Pastel Colors
In one country, the ties are even closer!
The origins of “Easter”
While many know Easter to be a Christian holiday, few know that the roots of Easter are actually a pagan mish-mash. Many holidays were originally a mix of various pagan holidays that Christians took and made their own. For this one, we have a German spring deity named “Eostre” (who the word Easter is derived from) that has a number of connections to spring and rabbits.
However, the Easter egg was not derived from this diety. Instead, Easter eggs come from a Ukranian tale where winter came early one year. This early winter caught a number of golden birds by surprise and they got buried in the snow. The entire village comes together and saves the flock, nursing them throughout the winter. In the spring the flock is released. The flock is so thankful, they leave decorated eggs behind.
The idea of Easter and colored eggs became intertwined in the 1600’s by German Lutherans. In the 1682 book “De ovis paschalibus” (About Easter Eggs) mentioned that colored eggs were hidden in grass fields. Children then then went and gathered them. When the children asked what kind of eggs they were, the adults would laugh and point at whatever the children accidentally flushed out of the grass. Often times what was flushed out were rabbits. Other potential Easter candidates included storks, roosters, and foxes. The way “fox eggs” were created was by wrapping the egg in onion skins, then boiling the egg.
Here is an example of what a “fox egg” looks like:
The idea of the “Easter Rabbit” won out in the 18th century with German immigrants spreading the idea.
However, a misinterpretation (from German to Swedish… the words Påskharen vs. Påskkarlen) changed Easter Rabbit to Easter Wizard. The idea is that a wizard was the cause of the eggs. This misinterpretation has led to an interesting tradition in Sweden that still exists today.
In Sweden, around Easter time, children dress up as witches / wizards and collect chocolates. Sound familiar to another holiday?
Today kids wear costumes as "påskkärringar" (trans. Easter Crones/Witches - picture above) and then go door to door in the neighborhood and ask for sweets. Often the kids bring cards they've painted, which they give away in return.
How Easter Could Become as Popular as Halloween in America
First off, the following are just random fun potential suggestions, not hard facts.
Why is Halloween a larger event than Easter?
My theory is fairly simple: Halloween has more grownup events, though it wasn’t always that way. Halloween parties used to only be for children. Now adults look forward to purchasing their costumes and having fun with their friends.
How could Easter become the next Halloween?
Again, my theory is fairly simple: a grownup version of Easter egg hunts. How might this be done? Easter egg gagetizing. Perhaps a plastic Easter egg with three things inside: a treat, a noise emitting device, and blue tooth. With these high tech eggs, one team leaves the area. The other team fills the eggs with treats and hides the devices. Once these are hidden, the opposing team comes back and listens for the sounds coming from the eggs. If the device can not be found, perhaps the blue tooth could be used as a “warm/cold” system telling the user if they are getting warmer or colder to the high tech egg. After all the eggs are collected, the team roles reverse and the team that was hunting the eggs is now hiding the eggs.
What is another way Easter could become the next Halloween?
BYO-EB. This is a parody off of BYOB (bring your own beer). This parody stands for Build Your Own Easter Basket. The idea is that everyone brings a different “Easter basket ingredient” (making sure there is enough for everyone). Someone may bring home made sweets, while another person may bring cheap silly games to play. Each person then brings their own unique Easter basket to fill and splits the odd assortment of Easter goodies.
What is YET ANOTHER way Easter could become the next Halloween?
The messy Easter egg hunt. This is yet another grownups only suggestion. For this idea, regular non-boiled eggs are left around the yard. The “grownups” then hunt for the eggs to throw at each other. Very simple and very messy. Water balloons can also be substituted, though this may not be as much fun.
Why would making Easter more important be a good idea?
The holiday seasons really kick off with Halloween, with consumer spending dipping January and February. The time Easter normally starts is when consumer spending is starting to pick up again. People are ready to spend money again during this period, but are not quite ready to attend to summer plans/vacations. Plus, having fun with friends is always a great idea!
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