Being it is Holy Week, I found it appropriate to write on the topic of Easter. Easter is a Christian holiday of the horrible betrayal, death and incredible resurrection of Jesus. This holiday is literally the main reason people are Christians. It is the “Good News”.
So, what does the Easter Bunny, loads of candy and chocolate, and the hide and seek of colored eggs have to do with Easter? Actually, nothing.
According to Time.com, the Easter bunny came from a pagan tradition from Germany of a festival of Eostre – a goddess of fertility whose animal symbol was a bunny. The rabbit symbol of this goddess would make sense due to their “energetic breeding”. The eggs we use in Easter celebrations represent new life which could be associated with the new life of Jesus during his resurrection. Still, rabbits don’t lay eggs.
What are we supposed to tell our children? If we do tell them of the Easter bunny and give them gifts and chocolate, when do we give them the real meaning of the celebration? If you go to church at any denomination, the story there will not have anything to do with bunnies. Do we tell another “white lie” along with the existence of Santa, and the tooth fairy to save face because everyone else does it? Yes, I did. Didn’t you?
If you think about it, the story of the Easter bunny is a bit easier to handle for children than the violent death of Jesus in the bible. Yes, he rose from the dead but I can imagine that could be quite scary to hear. Kids are smart, they see the Easter candy and bunnies in the stores and then they get a different story in Sunday school and they will know there is a problem there. I give lots of credit to the church’s Christian education programs. They have to explain the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection in the face of the pagan contradiction they hear outside of the church walls. I wonder what the kids think of the two different stories they need to put together in their minds?
Here is the thoughts from one 3-year-old girl in Scotland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Xgk6g-ovj
(copy and paste into the browser to see the Youtube video)
It is a busy weekend in the celebration of Easter this year. We are traveling to Maine and we are having a traditional Easter dinner a day early because family from other parts of the country will be visiting as well.