Every Easter was a magical time as a child, as my sister and I would take part in Easter egg hunts either indoors or outdoors. The Easter eggs were hidden by the Easter bunny, and we would go on the hunt to find them. These chocolate eggs were hidden in bushes, on ledges, behind furniture or anywhere that you would least expect them to be.
My sister and I would frantically race around collecting as many Easter eggs as we could find. Of course it was never quite that easy, I always ended up with the least amount of chocolate eggs, as my sister had a sharp eye and she could run faster than me.
Easter egg hunts seemed a little unfair, as my sister was older than me, but despite that, seeking out chocolate eggs was a lot of fun. After the chocolate egg hunt was over we would put all the eggs together, and then mum would share them evenly amongst us. Sharing is always a good thing, thanks mum, but finding the Easter eggs was the part that I enjoyed the most.
Easter Egg Hunts
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It’s all very well knowing that every year at the end of March or the beginning of April we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and kids of all ages collect chocolate Easter eggs or chocolate bunnies. The origins of Easter are worth knowing, because the pagan festival that became Easter as we know it is part of our historic culture.
In the early days of Christianity it was dangerous to practice one’s faith when the majority of the population in the Roman Empire were pagan, so early Christians piggy backed their religious festivities onto existing festivals. The Resurrection of Christ adopted the date of the festival of Eastre as its time of year.
Eastre in Saxon mythology was the Earth Goddess, but in Roman times also coincided with the goddess Aphrodite, both of whom were the goddesses of fertility. Other goddesses connected with fertility were Ishtar, Kali, Demeter, Hathor, Ashtoreth and the Norse goddess Ostara.
Of course in history of this sort there are always other viewpoints, and some experts believe the name Easter is a corruption of ancient words that simply meant sunrise, but we’ll never know for certain, though since pagan festivals fell at the same time of year it seems reasonable that our explanation would be correct.
The spring equinox is the traditional time to celebrate Eastre, and is a time of rebirth, we see this in the trees regaining their leaves, or wild flowers growing and filling mountainsides, and in the birth of young animals, the springtime lambs being the most well known.
So the next time you think of Easter and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, let your mind reflect on the time of year when everything is reborn, and remember that historically, the festival was called Eastre.
The History of Easter