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Sunday, April 16, 2006
For more than fifteen hundred years, the feast of Easter, marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ, has been the focal point of springtime for Crhistians around the world. Yet the Easter season is not only a Christian story; but a promised of renewal for all.

The earliest origins of Easter come from an ancient pagan festival celebrated by the Saxons long before the birth of Christ. This festival, held just before the vernal equinox, was in honor of the old German goddess of light, Eostre, to celebrated the death of winter and rebirth of spring.

In the eight century, the poetic name Easter, meaning "New Beginning" was incorporated into Christianity's observance of Christ's resurrection, thereby blending nature's renewal with man's spiritual rebirth.

The most popular Easter symbols -- colored eggs and the Easter bunny -- are secular ones and can be traced back to Eostre's spring festival. On this day, the Teutonic goddess was honored with a feast of eggs, which were the symbol of new life. Farmers would gather wild duck eggs, then given them to their wives to color red -- the Saxon color of good fortune -- with vegetable dyes. After the eggs were colored, they were rolled over the fields so that their contact with the soil would make the earth fertile.

According to legend, Eostre's favorite animal was a large, handsome bird, which in a fit of anger she turned into a hare. This is why each Easter a beautiful hare continues to build a nest to fill with colored eggs.

Chocolate or candy Easter eggs began to appear in teh late 1800s, as did marzipan Easter symbols. In Eastern Europe the decoration of Easter eggs with intricate patterns transformed them into exquisite works of fragile art. Immigrants brought this tradition to America, and during the late 1880s it became a favorite Victorian pastime.

The celebration of Easter in America was introduced by German Protestant immigrants in the mid 1700s, but Easter was not widely celebrated here until after the Civil War, when its them if resurrection and renewed hope could offer the bereaved new meaning during the years of Reconstruction.

(Source: MRS. SHARP'S TRADITIONS by : Sarah Ban Breathnach)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:19 AM  
  • At 8:36 AM, Blogger Pepe said…

    Hmmnn...very impormative. So easter is one of those pagan traditions incorporated to make the transition as seemless as possible.

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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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