Easter is a Christian festival and celebrates the belief that Jesus rose after he was crucified, an event which is called the resurrection.
According to the Bible, Jesus died on Good Friday and his body was laid in a tomb guarded by a watch of Roman soldiers. Two days later, when Mary Magdalene came to anoint his body, she discovered that the stone covering the tomb’s entrance had been moved and Jesus’ body was nowhere to be found. People of the Christian faith believe Easter Sunday is the day Jesus rose again.
Eggs and their link to Christianity
From a Christian perspective, eggs are said to represent the empty tomb that Jesus was resurrected from.
In times gone by, it was forbidden by the church to eat eggs and other animal products in the week leading up to Easter (Holy Week). Instead, eggs were decorated and given as gifts to children. Sometimes, they were painted red to symbolise the blood sacrificed by Jesus.
The first chocolate Easter eggs appeared in the early 19th century, in France and Germany. These eggs weren’t hollow and the chocolate was, in fact, very bitter. The story of the Easter bunny was said to have become popular around this time.
When the Easter bunny hopped on the scene
Rabbits are an ancient symbol linked with fertility. Indeed, the phrase “at it like rabbits” refers to how successful these animals are when it comes to breeding. Whilst rabbits go hand in hand with spring’s new beginnings, it’s not always clear how an egg-laying bunny came to be.
Far from being linked with Christianity, the Easter bunny has its roots in Paganism. An Anglo-Saxon legend tells how the pagan Goddess of Fertility, Eostre, transformed a wounded bird into a hare so that it could survive the winter. However, the hare kept the ability to lay eggs. Each spring, the hare decorated these eggs and give them to the Goddess as a sign of its gratitude.
Many young children believe that the Easter bunny comes to visit them, laying eggs which are hidden around their garden and home. This belief has given rise to Easter egg hunts which still remain popular today.
The changeable date of Easter
Each year, the date of Easter changes and can fall between the 22nd March and 25th April. It’s calculated as the first Sunday after the first full moon, following the first day of spring. The full moon at this time is known as a Paschal (Passover) Full Moon.
This year, Easter will take place from the 30th March to 2nd April.
Let us know how you plan to celebrate Easter in your setting. Share your stories and photos by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Did you know?
You can try dyeing eggshells different colours by hard boiling them and adding the following items into the water until you achieve the desired colour:
Beetroot – red
Tea bag – dark brown
Onion skin – yellow/gold
Red cabbage – light blue
Spinach leaves – green
Easter bunny hat activity
- 1 or 2 pieces of coloured paper/card
- White and pink-coloured card/paper (one of each colour)
- Decorations of your choice (pens, stamps, stickers, googly eyes)
- Measure the head of the person who will be wearing the bunny hat. You may need to use two pieces of card/paper to ensure you reach all the way around.
- Cut the pieces of coloured paper down the middle to create a strip to go around the head of the person wearing them. If you need to use two pieces of paper, glue each of them together at the ends to create the headband.
- Now, glue or staple the headband into a circle shape so that it fits easily onto your chosen person’s head and leave it to dry. Once dry, it’s ready to wear!