Why Do We Celebrate Easter?
It's one of America's favorite holidays but why do we celebrate Easter? Remember when you were a child waking up to go look for baskets filled with goodies that the Easter bunny left you? The Easter egg hunts, the family dinners, and the pictures with Mr. Easter bunny himself. If you're like me, these were very special times in your life. But, why do we celebrate Easter and what exactly is it?
Why do we celebrate Easter, well it's actually a religious holiday, the most important holiday there is to Christians. Christianity teaches that Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and rose from the dead on the following Sunday. This Sunday is the holiday known to us as Easter. Easter is so important because through the act of Jesus dying and then raising again he paid the penalty for all of our sins. In this Jesus is saying that he forgives us our sins and we will be resurrected after our deaths as he was.
If Jesus had not paid the ultimate price for our sins then no Christian would have any hopes of entering heaven. This is because we all have sinned. God knew this and loved us so much that he sent his only son to save us all, so that we might enter his kingdom.
Do You Have To Be Religious To Celebrate Easter
Almost every family celebrates Easter in America, including those who are not religious. It's a fun holiday for kids and families. So, you don't have to be religious to celebrate Easter. You can do all the Easter egg hunts and Easter baskets, you just wouldn't teach your kid's the religious origins of the holidays if it's not what you believe.
If you are a Christian then make sure amongst the baskets and egg finding that you take some time and explain to your children why we celebrate this wonderful holiday. Let them know that Easter is a fun holiday but also a very important event occurred on this Sunday.
Where Did The Easter Bunny Come From
Since you now know that Easter is the celebration of Jesus' resurrection you may be wondering how the Easter bunny got involved in this holy holiday. The basis of the Easter bunny comes from the ancient pagans springtime festivals. Spring time has always been seen as a re-awakening or re-birth after the cold of winter the world finally starts to bloom again. For this reason pagans associated spring time with fertility and their goddess of fertility was named Eostre, this is where the word Easter comes from. They believed that Eostre's consort was a hare, so this animal became the symbol for fertility.
When Christianity started moving to these areas Christians tried to take pagan holidays and rituals and incorporate them into Christian based beliefs. For example, they replaced the pagans springtime festivals with Easter, but this created a mix of pagan and Christianity ideas.
Then later on in history when settlers came to America those people who were Christians but had retained some pagan traditions brought these traditions over to the new world. This is how the Easter bunny has become a symbol of an otherwise Christian holiday.
Christians And Easter
Christians may find it hard to believe that the majority of our Easter traditions are pagan based. If not for a great teacher, who also happens to be a preacher, I would not have known this myself. You may find yourself wondering if you should continue to incorporate the Easter bunny into your celebration. My advice is if you have children, go ahead and let them have some fun. But, make sure to teach them the real meaning of include church as part of your Easter Sunday tradition.
Most of all Enjoy your holiday and the gift that Jesus has given us.