Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Burning Questions of Easter Kind

Burning Questions of Easter Kind

By: Bailey Baldwin and Angelli Bishop
Edited By: Cassidy Morrell
      For many Christian families, Easter is a time to to celebrate Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus’s resurrection is one of the most important holidays for a Christian, because if Jesus had not been resurrected then the religion itself would cease to exist. One of the many beliefs in Christianity is that if we place our faith in Jesus, then when our time comes we will join him in the Heavens.
     Nowadays, it’s obvious that Easter has become very commercialised, but have you ever wondered why? All the bright colored eggs and the bunnies, what does any of that have to do with Christ?
     The general idea and celebration of Easter is to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but most traditions we have now are actually adopted from the Pagan following. The Pagan goddess, Ostara, is the goddess of spring and dawn. This is a concept many people know little about. With this newfound knowledge, let’s see if we can answer any of the questions we ask ourselves around Easter.

             Ostara, the Pagan goddess of spring and dawn

Why rabbits? What made rabbits the symbol of easter?
     This is a symbol that corresponds with the Pagan goddess, Ostara, not necessarily Jesus. In many stories, rabbits are known and shown to be minions of Ostara, and the time Easter is usually celebrated marks the rutting of the rabbits, when rabbits tend to reproduce. This seems to give an example to Spring and its creation of new life.

Why did we start dying eggs?
     This is another tradition that has more to do with the Pagan goddess, Ostara, than Christ. As one story goes, children used to present Ostara with eggs to thank her for bringing them Spring. Ostara, filled with gratitude, sent rabbits to send them back the eggs, but they were now brightly colored. This is where we adopted the tradition of dying easter eggs bright colors like blue, pink, yellow, and more.

Easter Eggs

Why do we hunt for easter eggs?
     Egg hunting dates back all the way to the 1700’s from a Pennsylvania Dutch who believed in Oschter Haws-egg laying bunny. The young ones would build nests so the bunny could lay its eggs in them, and after awhile they would check in the basket nests in search of eggs.

Why is Easter never on the same day?
     It’s because of its religious roots. This Christian holiday depends on the first full moon after the vernal equinox (when night and day is the same length all over earth). This is essential to the information of how Jesus held the Last Supper on the night of Passover, had died the next day, and resurrected on the third day (Sunday). In 325 A.D the Council of Nicaea wanted to make sure that Easter would always fall on a Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox. However there many complications with this system, if Sunday was a full moon then that is when Passover would occur, but Easter would have to be cancelled till next week to make sure that Passover is before Easter. Then the council had made the Vernal equinox at a fixed date (March 21st) and made a set of tables to show when the full moon happens but wouldn’t quite line up with the “astronomical” full moon. So, in short Easter can happen before or after Passover.
     The celebration of Easter has brought along many great memories, and lots of questions. Hopefully, we’ve answered a few of these questions, and brought a greater understanding of the spring holiday that we all love so much.

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