One of my daughter’s favorite holidays is coming soon… Easter! She has learned in church and school about the reason for the holiday and celebrates the Resurrection. However, at her age, the excitement comes when the phrase “Easter Egg Hunt” is uttered!
Egg hunts, Easter baskets, new dresses, candy, family dinner, church service, the Easter bunny, jelly beans! One of the most widely celebrated holidays, Easter has many associations for us. But where and when did these fun traditions begin?
I had to visit the History Channel to hear a little about this. One fun story was the possible explanation for the Easter Bunny’s presence in our Easter folklore. “According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.” (https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/easter-symbols)
As I read on, it became a bit more complicated. Some traditions are nearly a thousand years old! While it is fun learning the theories, it became clear that we simply do not know why we celebrate the holiday in the odd variety of ways we do. But one thing is clear… children LOVE it!