Easter — Knowing The Traditions of The Past Some of Us Celebrate Today

insights into customary acts and traditions separating from origins of beliefs

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

Quail eggs have been my favorite among all the other types. I could never get enough of it.

There are plenty of other traditions which involve using eggs. It symbolizes life. The Chinese and Malays also use eggs as a symbol of fertility. It does not matter what their beliefs or religions are. Eggs are part of customary or a tradition often confused as part of religious rites.

It brings me to my favorite time of the year — Easter. Why? Because it is a public holiday!

My understanding of Good Friday referred to the man named Jesus Christ. He died on the cross*. 3-days later, being Sunday, his body went missing and thus known to have risen.

*Grammarly made a yellow underline when I type ‘crucified’, so I have to use the words ‘died on the cross’.

Then, the curiosity sets in about Easter. Little do we hear about Easter being a pagan tradition of the past. It seems similar to my article about Valentine’s Day. Easter has its own story.

Now, let us begin reading.

Who is Eostre or Ostara?

Goddess Eostre is a Germanic goddess of the Spring season. Some articles mentioned her as the Goddess of Dawn. Because winter died and sunlight filled the Earth once again.

Like hope reborn, you see flowers blooming around the World. Eggs are symbols of fertility and life, thus representing the Easter celebration. In the Germanic calendar, the month of April is Easter. The eggs came into the tradition of the past pagans’ celebration.

It was also the era of pre-Christianity beliefs. Some articles mentioned that early Christians adopted the act of using eggs as a form of life. It led to conversions among the Germans heathens or Anglo Saxons. Originally, Easter or eggs and bunnies were not in Christian traditions.

Bunny Rabbit with Easter Eggs?

Some articles mentioned the story of how the cute bunny rabbit appeared as an icon of the Easter celebration.

In the pagans’ tradition of Goddess Ostara (Eostre), one of the years when spring came late, a bird was freezing. Its wings were affected. Goddess Ostara kept it warm, and out of compassion, she changed the bird which sat on the eggs into a rabbit or hare.

Universally, the Spring season was associated with hope and or life reborn.

Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

How did the eggs and rabbit become part of the religious celebration?

The eggs symbolized life for the pagans in the past. However, it was regarded as the rebirth or resurrection of Jesus in the pre-Christian days of the 13th century. This tradition is continued by some people today.

There are some Christian believers who do not practice this to distinguish between the customs of pagans and focus on the essence of Christianity.

Interestingly, the rabbit was introduced into America by the Germans in the 1700s. The hare was Oschter Haws which laid colorful eggs. It became a customary tradition to have hard-boiled eggs, red-dyed shells, and painted ones. Such gifts became commercialized with chocolate eggs, today.

Sidetrack: The colorful chocolate eggs above are my favorite type of chocolate! It is difficult to find these chocolates sold around the neighborhood shops in my country today.

Some other similarities in traditions of the past?

Similar to the Türks’ tradition, the coming of spring is known as Nowruz. Their customary tradition celebrates Nowruz like a new year, with a table spread with 7 different kinds of foods.

Eggs tapping, jumping over the fire, having a good bath, wearing new clothes, and painting the house are some customary traditions still carried out by certain parts of Turkey. It is about hope and life reborn after the stillness of winter.

I have yet to read up more about these past customary practices among the Türks.

Good Friday is a holiday in my country. The Christians commemorate the day Christ was crucified and subsequently risen. It is based on the essence of their doctrines or Holy Bible. Churches conduct the holy communion with mantzel bread and red syrup distributed to the congregation.

Let me close with some beautiful thoughts of a Korean Zen Monk…

“Just as my faith is precious and significant to me, wouldn’t it be the same for people of other faiths? Just as my mother is dear and important to me, wouldn’t this be the case for my neighbor and his mother?” — Haemin Sunim

Have a blessed weekend to everyone.

In the light of Easter or Christ’s resurrection, in the light of Ramadan, in the joy of Nawruz for those who celebrates it, be joyful and happy for the least it is worth thanksgiving.

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