Thursday, March 22, 2012
"WHERE DOES THE EASTER BUNNY FIT IN?"
Good Evening to All!
There's nothing in the Bible about a long-eared, cotton-tailed creature known as the Easter Bunny. Neither is there a passage about young children painting eggs or hunting for baskets overflowing with scrumptious Easter goodies.
Like the origin of Easter, the origin of the Easter Bunny has roots that go back to pre-Christian, Anglo-Saxon history. The holiday was originally a pagan celebration that worshipped the goddess Eastre. She was the goddess of fertility and springtime and her earthly symbol was the rabbit.
Thus the pre-Christian Anglo-Saxons worshipped the rabbit believing it to be Eastre's earthly incarnation.
When the Anglo-Saxons were converted to Christianity, the pagan holiday, which occurred around the same time as the Christian memorial of Jesus' resurrection from the dead, was combined with the Christian celebration and given the name Easter.So why are these traditions so ingrained in Easter Sunday? And what do they have to do with the resurrection of Jesus?
Bunnies, eggs, Easter gifts and fluffy, yellow chicks in gardening hats all stem from pagan roots. They were incorporated into the celebration of Easter separately from the Christian tradition of honoring the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
According to University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture, the origin of the celebration -- and the Easter bunny -- can be traced back to 13th century, pre-Christian Germany, when people worshiped several gods and goddesses. The Teutonic deity(German mythology) Eostra was the goddess of spring and fertility, and feasts were held in her honor on the Vernal Equinox. Her symbol was the rabbit because of the animal’s high reproduction rate.
Spring also symbolized new life and rebirth; eggs were an ancient symbol of fertility. According to History.com, Easter eggs represent Jesus' resurrection. However, this association came much later when Roman Catholicism became the dominant religion in Germany in the 15th century and merged with already ingrained pagan beliefs.
The first Easter bunny legend was documented in the 1500s. By 1680, the first story about a rabbit laying eggs and hiding them in a garden was published. These legends were brought to the United States in the 1700s when German immigrants settled in Pennsylvania Dutch country, according to the Center for Children's Literature and Culture.
The tradition of making nests for the rabbit to lay its eggs in soon followed. Eventually, nests became decorated baskets and colorful eggs were swapped for candy, treats and other small gifts.
Now, while I am all for children having fun, and all of us enjoying our Easter meal, I also believe that we need to look upon this holiday as more than an excuse to buy a new outfit for us and our children. We should instill the MAIN reason which we celebrate this day in our children, meaning the Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Christ to save us from an eternal Spiritual Death. The children need to learn this at an early age, They need to know that there is more to life than getting presents at Christmas and Easter Eggs and Candy at Easter.
Originally, there were some very pagan practices that went along with the Easter celebration. Today, it is unfortunate that Easter is often commercialized, with way too much focus on eggs, the Easter bunny, the Easter parade, candy and toys. The only part of it that is focused on our Lord's resurrection is the 2 or three hours we spend in church, unless you celebrate lent, then it is a bit more.
Because of the commercialization, many churches are starting to refer to it as Resurrection Day rather than Easter. I truly have a problem with this. Why change it after centuries of referring to this Holiday as Easter. It didn't seem to matter to the Christians before, why now? Especially when there is so many other things tearing this world apart, such as immorality, people falling away from the CHURCH, (Christ's bride, not the building) and so many other things wrong with this world today? Priests molesting children, immodest dress, same sex marriages and so on. Yet this people are wanting to distant themselves from the Pagan meaning of Easter? How ridiculous.
While the original Title of the Holiday "Easter" is actually from a pagan holiday, we have taken it and given it Christian meaning. While originally it was to celebrate a pagan goddess of Spring and fertility, it has become more meaningful to us as Christ's Resurrection and a "new beginning" for us having had our sins forgiven through Christ's mortal death.
My main thought through this post is Christ's Resurrection should ALWAYS trump the Easter bunny. The "world" is always trying to "shove" their ways on us who are doing our best to keep our priorities straight such as keeping God first in our lives, so just as Christ did in the desert while Satan was tempting Him, we must constantly remind Satan (the ruler of this world) and ourselves that "IT IS WRITTEN.... and pray for God to keep our minds safe and pure from the enticements of this world as well as keeping our priorities straight. I am not saying there is anything wrong with Easter bunnies, eggs, candy and toys. I'm just saying we need to put at least as much if not MORE emphasis on the Pure meaning for our celebration as Christians.
Reference: Discovery News by Lauren Effron
Good Night to All and May God Bless,