Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hopping to Learn

Before you read this posting, I will volunteer some info... my wife is a practicing, faithful, southern-conservative Christian. Born and raised in that belief system and social structure. Topics such as this really do not sit well, and that is why I write them! People raise their children with the ideas and infrastructure in which they themselves are brought up in. Religious backgrounds, and those who follow blindly will argue, fight, kill and die for what they believe. I am not looking to start a holy war, no. However, being that I claim no loyalty to any faith, I find it easier to observe and question all of them (also can be a tender subject here at home). 

Our children do follow the traditional Easter Egg hunt. However, as they get older and are able to understand reason, I will not push my views on them. I will make the information as to WHY readily available for them. Just like this posting that you are reading now. Enjoy...

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There's no story in the Bible about a long-eared, cotton-tailed creature known as the Easter Bunny. Neither is there a passage about young children painting eggs or hunting for baskets overflowing with scrumptious Easter goodies. Also, knowing that real rabbits certainly don't lay eggs.Why are these traditions so ingrained in Easter Sunday? And what do they have to do with the resurrection of Jesus? 

Well, nothing.

Bunnies, eggs, Easter gifts and fluffy, yellow chicks in gardening hats all stem from pagan roots. These traditions were incorporated into the celebration of Easter separately from the Christian tradition of honoring the resurrection. 

The origin of the celebration -- and the origin of the Easter Bunny -- can be traced back to 13th-century, pre-Christian Germany, when people worshiped several gods and goddesses. The Teutonic deity Eostra was the goddess of spring and fertility, and feasts were held in her honor on the Vernal Equinox. Her symbol was the rabbit because of the animal’s high reproduction rate.

Spring also symbolized new life and rebirth; eggs were an ancient symbol of fertility. In today's practices, the Easter eggs represent Jesus' resurrection. However, this association came much later when Roman Catholicism became the dominant religion in Germany in the 15th century and merged with already ingrained pagan beliefs.

The first Easter Bunny legend was documented in the 1500s. By 1680, the first story about a rabbit laying eggs and hiding them in a garden was published. These legends were brought to the United States in the 1700s, when German immigrants settled in Pennsylvania Dutch country. 

Now, where the hell is that rabbit? I want to get my sugar buzz on!

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