Easter is a great time to learn about our customs and traditions. It’s a time for celebrating in many parts of the world, whether it’s the Christian rituals or the joy of spring and newness, it is an uplifting time. Many of the traditions date back to Pagan times, celebrating the spring solstice and fertility. Gradually the pagan rituals have become intertwined with Christian practice resulting in the joyous festival we have today.
What do we think about immediately when we say “Easter”?
Easter Eggs, of course. Everyone from little children to big adults, we all enjoy a yummy chocolate egg. And Easter Eggs come in all sizes from small, cream eggs to gigantic eggs filled with sweets and other goodies.
Rolling Eggs. This is a tradition we’ve adopted since moving to Scotland. You hard boil some chicken eggs, decorate them, then find a hill to roll them down. And afterwards, eat them, of course. Some people believe this idea can be traced to the story of Jesus rolling back the stone in the tomb at the Resurrection. Others think it ties in with fertility and birth.
Easter Bunnies. It’s believed that the tradition originated in America with German immigrants bringing the egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children would make little nests for the hare to lay their babies in. Now we give chocolate bunnies as presents to others.
Easter Bonnets. When I was a little girl my mum would buy me a new hat every Easter. My sisters and I would don our new hat and dance off to Church on Easter Sunday, thinking we were so pretty. Nowadays, many Primary school children make paper or straw hats and decorate it them, often with yellow colours, bright flowers or chickens.