Easter is a most important Christian holiday. She celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, the third day after his death. Over the years, several secular elements have been added: eggs, chocolate, rabbits.
Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after March 21st, the spring equinox. That's why the date changes every year.
Christians write Easter with an "s" to distinguish their Jewish Passover feast, which commemorates the flight of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt. In English, the word Easter comes from the name of the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and fertility, Eostre. Several historians point out that the first generations of Christians have brought the new Christian holidays into accord with the pagan celebrations, such as Easter, which is celebrated at the same time as the arrival of spring.
The decorated eggs appeared in the 12th century. Since the Church forbid the eating of eggs during Holy Week, but the chickens continued to lay eggs, a surplus accumulated. The eggs laid during Holy Week were then considered sacred, which is why they were decorated. The egg itself is a symbol found in the pagan rites of spring: it represents renewal and fruitfulness. It is also found in the Christian religion, where it symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus.
In France, the hunt for Easter eggs has its origins in a legend that it is the church bells that disperse the eggs. As the bells are silent from Holy Thursday, as a sign of mourning for the death of Jesus, the legend says that they go to Rome, to return to Easter loaded with decorated eggs and treats.
The legend surrounding the hunt varies according to the country: in Germany, it is a white rabbit that brings the eggs. In the United States, it's a hare. In Switzerland, it's a cuckoo. Some historians believe that Protestant Europeans appropriated the symbol of the Easter bunny in the seventeenth century in order to dissociate themselves from Catholic traditions.
Easter chocolate is simply commercial and benefits from the fact that Lenten Christians are used to celebrating the end of fasting by eating treats.
Easter is also celebrated with the family to highlight the beautiful days that come with a beautiful table filled with pretty flowers with spring colors and a nice meal.
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