Easter: The True Meaning

By: Veronica Yeagley

Easter Sunday is getting closer.  Easter this year falls on March 31st.  Easter always falls on a Sunday between March 22nd and April 25th.  Easter Monday is also a legal holiday in many countries.  Many Easter traditions involve the Easter Bunny, Easter Eggs, and candy.  But do you know the true meaning of Easter or where it originated?  The exact origins are unclear, but many believe these traditions first arrived in the Americas in the 1700s.  German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania carried over their traditions of an egg laying hare called an “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.”  Their children would make nests so this creature could lay colorful eggs inside of it.  Eventually this tradition spread across the U.S.

Easter is a religious holiday that Christians celebrate.  Most of the traditions are very likely linked to pagan traditions, such as the Easter egg.  Most people believe that the egg symbolizes the presence of a new life.  This has been kinked to pagan festivals celebrating Spring.  From the Christian point of view,  these Easter eggs are supposed to resemble Jesus emerging from the tomb and His resurrection.  Decorating the eggs is a custom that dates back to around the 13th century.

The true meaning of Easter is the renewal of life and rebirth.  Some say the word Easter is derived from Eostre, who is an ancient Anglo-Saxon Goddess.  She symbolized the rebirth of the day and the rebirth of life in the spring.  The arrival of spring was celebrated all over the world before the religious meaning became about with Easter.  Because Eostre was the goddess of spring and she symbolized birth and resurrection, the Christian belief in the resurrection of Christ fit very well with this theme.

In conclusion, Easter is about traditions and the renewal of life and birth.  On Easter Sunday, many families will be waking up and carrying on traditions that their families have done in the past.  What traditions or beliefs do you and your family carry on?



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