Easter Around The World
Easter Around the World-Right At Home
"Here comes Peter Cottontail, Hopping down the bunny trail, Hippity Hoppity Easter's On its Way."
What is your favorite Easter Around the World Story?
We all may take a trip down memory lane with this one. As a child, every Easter we got all dressed up in our Sunday dress clothes - for girls that meant gloves to match your dress and for boys - All shirts were tucked in!
The biggest part of our Easter morning was spent trying to get mom to hurry up and get dressed so we could (we didn't care that she had been up most the night boiling and coloring Easter eggs) find all those hidden Easter eggs that had been so diligently placed within our sight and small hands reach.
Dad was normally as excited as we were. He loved to watch the looks on our faces and he always stood next to the eggs that were harder for us to see and find.
Easter Around the World & The Easter Bunny
Specially designed baskets were perched near the door so that when we left to pick up grandparents and meet aunts, uncles and cousins, those special baskets weren't left behind. The local church sponsored a yearly Easter egg hunt. Since we lived in a small town, no one was left out of the 'hunt.' Our little town had it's own Easter Around the World and always included everyone in the search for eggs and toys.
That year was special for us because they had an Easter Bunny coming and we had never seen one before, but like fairies and Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, we knew he was REAL. I can still smell the green grass growing in the sun from that day.
For the next two years I talked about that Easter Bunny. I imagined all sorts of things about her- where she lived, how many carrots she ate, what she wore, how long it took her to get Easter eggs out to all the boys and girls, I even imagined a special Easter bunny Cart that helped get that Easter bunny everywhere.
And then my brother took that beautiful image and killed it - like a knife to the heart, I was devastated by his explanation that the Easter Bunny wasn't real.
What makes me laugh, today is that a stuffed Easter bunny was the first gift my husband ever gave me. Even though the days of childhood are gone, the Easter holiday remains precious to us in many ways.
Easter Around The World-Roots
For Christians, Easter has its roots established even before Christianity - about 2,000 years before. Easter celebrates and recognizes the death and rebirth of Jesus Christ.
Where did that Easter bunny come from? Historically speaking, it was the Anglo-Saxons pagan religion that started it all. Easter around the world is used as a time to celebrate and honor and pay tribute to fertility and rebirth. We got the name Easter from the Germans, who spelled it, "Eastre." Easter is also known as Oestre or Eostre (the German goddess of fertility, also called the German goddess of Spring - popular in 6th Century BC). It is the civil war that is credited for enthusiastically bringing this holiday to America.
Emperor Constantine, together with the council on Nicaea, in 325 A.D., decided that Easter would fall on the first Sunday of the Spring equinox - after the first full moon. Since that decree, Easter has been celebrated on the Sunday between March 22 and April 25th.
The mythical story of Eostre always fascinated me. If you haven't heard it, then it goes something like this: Eostre found a beautiful bird that was hurt and could not fly, so she magically made the injured bird a rabbit that could still lay eggs, like the beautiful bird. Out of gratitude for saving her life, the rabbit gave Eostre a gift of brightly colored eggs in a beautiful basket. This fable became a tradition in Europe that lasted throughout the mid 1800's.
After that time, chocolate eggs were introduced and migrants populated other areas with tales of Eostre. Historical evidence also points to other ancient cultures painting eggs and celebrating the folk-tale of Eostre (or something closely related to it).
Chinese, Middle Easterners, Western Europe populations and South African peoples show evidence that they celebrated Easter too.
Easter Around the World-Symbols
But it is the Easter bunny that maintains a fascination for children. According to historical myth, the rabbit can procreate quickly and humans desired that they be blessed with at least some of that. And, if you ever lived on a farm and owned rabbits then you know, those 'myths' about rabbits aren't KIDDING! We started out with two rabbits on our farm and quickly had 30 rabbits in no time at all. Unfortunately we named every one of those rabbits so mom had to tell us they were chickens when they showed up on the dinner table, instead of, "Fluffy or Peter Cottontail."
Eggs, are also symbolic of fertility and give added symbolic representation to the Easter Bunny herself.
Before Easter baskets became popular, the story of Eostre explains that baskets were originally nests, hence the fascination with putting grass or fake grass into an Easter basket.
If you'd like to teach your child about the religion behind the celebration of Easter. One way to help kids understand Easter is to read them a good book on the subject.
For a creative visual explanation, you can use the different colored eggs to symbolize some of the meanings. Helping children understand the tradition and meaning behind the Easter holiday helps build family traditions that span lifetimes.
Easter Around the World-Easter Baskets
Easter Around The World-A Celebration
Other countries join Americans in Easter around the world celebration festivities. You can find a variety of different celebration styles in any of these places too; Egypt, Florence, Italy, Eastern Europe, France, the Netherlands and Germany, Australia (look up the word-'Bilby'), Bermuda, The United Kingdom, Nordic Countries, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Westphalia.
So tell me, what is your favorite Easter story anyway? Did I already ask you that? . . . Well . . . what is it?! For Special gift basket ideas for your Easter basket, take a look here.