My mother was a religious person and I was raised in the Catholic faith where Easter is an important church holiday. But our celebrations also included the old pagan traditions, like Easter bunnies and egg hunting. They are the fun left over from former times.
It always amazes me when I read how old traditions were included in religions, despite the fact that they originated from pagan cultures, and at first glance wouldn’t seem to be able to coexist. Somehow people made the effort to make them blend without creating problems or stress. One can only wonder why we cannot do this in our times? Have we become so intolerant by believing that only our values can exist and that there is no space for diversity?
So where did the bunnies and eggs come from? The bunnies come from the pagan festival of Eostre, a great northern goddess whose symbol was a rabbit or hare. The exchange of eggs can be traced back to ancient times and was celebrated in many different cultures.
And how did they arrive in America? According to some sources, the Easter bunny arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania, and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase”. Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs.
I always enjoy Easter. For me it is synonymous with the arrival of spring and the rebirth of nature. I enjoyed the egg hunting when I was a child believing the “Osterhase” colored them. Then I progressed to artfully decorated eggs, which were used as displays. Time passed and I did Easter hunts with little McKell, our adoptive granddaughter, and she and our little dogs ran around the yards to find their goodies.
This year is Romeo’s first Easter with us, and I cannot wait to see this bundle of energy cruising through the yard searching for his lovingly hidden Easter “cookies”.
Easter is a time for renewal, and I like to go within to eliminate resistance and the thoughts that hold me back. Just as nature renews itself and shows off with the most awesome colors and flowers, I like to bring my best self forward and although I cannot shine like nature, I feel refreshed and renewed.