Easter is supposed to the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, but when someone hears Easter, they think of the Easter Bunny and eggs. Since ancient times rabbits have been associated with spring.
It is believed that Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, Eostre had a hare as her companion. The hare symbolizes fertility and rebirth. Later Christians changed the symbol of the hare to the Easter bunny.
In an attempt to Christianize Easter which began as a pagan holiday, is named for a Saxon goddess who was known by the names of Oestre or Eastre, and in Germany by the name of Ostara. She is a goddess of the dawn and the spring, and her name derives from words for dawn, the shining light arising from the east. Our words for the “female hormone” estrogen derives from her name.
Ostara was a fertility goddess. Bringing in the end of winter, with the days brighter and growing longer after the vernal equinox, Ostara had a passion for new life. Her presence was felt in the flowering of plants and the birth of babies, both animal and human. The rabbit (well known for its propensity for rapid reproduction) was her sacred animal.
Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny both were featured in the spring festivals of Ostara, which were initially held during the feasts of the goddess Ishtar | Inanna. Eggs are obvious symbols of fertility, and the newborn chicks an adorable representation of new growth. Brightly colored eggs, chicks, and bunnies were all used at festival time to express appreciation for Ostara’s gift of abundance.
According to history.com the egg is an ancient symbol of new life and has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring.
From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection.
enee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or firstname.lastname@example.org
While not atheist, believing in a supreme being as I do, I do enjoy knowing WHY some symbolism is used in worship. the article above goes on to postulate the decorating of eggs and the importation of the egg laying bunny to the U.S.in the seventeen hundreds.
Amazing the baggage the folks running for religious freedom dragged behind them. Almost as if they didn’t want to leave anything behind, really.
From the reaches,