Indulge in Easter, but remember the reason

Published 4:48 pm Wednesday, April 5, 2023

By Donna Traywick

Mt. Olivet News

Isn’t nature wonderful? Just as the Bradford pear ceases blooming, the dogwood starts. Tradition has it that Easter always follows the blooming of the dogwood.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Mt. Olivet Church sent a large truck load of supplies to Rolling Fork on Wednesday. I am always astounded at the generosity of this small group.

Every store that you enter you see evidence of items that are used to celebrate Easter. I wonder where some of these traditions came from. Easter traditions and symbols have evolved over time, though some have been around for centuries. 

While to Christians, Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, many Easter traditions are not in the Bible. The most prominent secular symbol of the Christian holiday, the Easter bunny, was reportedly introduced to America by the German immigrants who brought over their stories of an egg-laying hare. 

The decoration of eggs is believed to date back to at least the 13th century. Other traditions such as Easter candy, Chocolate rabbits, and chocolate lambs are among the modern additions to celebrate the early springtime holiday. 

In my opinion it is an exaggerated way to commercialize any holiday, especially Easter. To children the first thing they see in stores each holiday is display after display of items to enhance their desire to have the items. And, let’s face it, it sells, it makes billions of dollars for stores.

Where did the Easter bunny come from? The Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short-tailed creature who delivers decorated eggs to well-behaved children on Easter Sunday; never less, the Easter bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christian’s most important holiday. 

The exact origin of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known for their prolific procreators, are ancient symbols of fertility and new life.

According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700’s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hair. 

The children made nests in which this creature could lay his colored eggs. Eventually, this custom spread across the U.S., and the fabled rabbits Easter morning delivered included candied eggs and all types of gifts. 

The decorated Easter basket replaced the nest. Additionally, children left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all that hopping. This tradition is similar to the event of leaving out milk and cookies for Santa Clause.

Easter is a religious holiday, however some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan tradition. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, 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.

Easter egg hunts and egg rolls are two egg-related traditions that are popular in the U.S. The White House Easter Egg Roll, a race in which children push decorated hard-boiled eggs, across the White House lawn, is an annual event that happens on the Monday after Easter. 

The first official White House egg roll began in 1878, when Rutherford B. Hayes was president. The egg roll has no religious significance, although some people have considered egg rolling a symbol of the stone blocking Jesus’s tomb being rolled away.

Easter is the second-best selling candy holiday in America after Halloween. Chocolate rabbits and jelly beans are some of the most popular candies sold. According to the National Confectioners Association over 16 billion are made each year for Easter. 

The next best-selling is the marshmallow Peeps. Peeps are made of sugary marshmallow shaped into a baby chicken. The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania based company was founded by Russian immigrant Sam Borm in 1923.

It’s sad to see the commercialization of this most sacred holiday. I hope that Christian parents will let their children indulge in these activities, but when they are older explain the symbolism. 

The beautiful Terza church will hold a Sunrise Service at 7  a.m. Terza Church is located on Terza road. The first Easter Sunrise Service recorded took place in 1732 in the hills of Saxony by the Moravians, they were one of the oldest protestant denominations. The sunrise service was held after an all night prayer vigil.

Mt. Olivet will hold Easter Service at 11 a.m. at which the choir will cantata in song and scripture from the birth to his death and resurrection and his second coming. If you are not attending another church please come and visit with us.

On Saturday, April 8, the children of the community will enjoy an egg hunt. It will be held at Mt. Olivet Church at 10 a.m. Bring your children or grand-children and explain to them the meaning of each symbol. Happy Easter.