What is Easter Egg Hunt? Know more about the popular tradition.
Easter customs vary across the world. Some churches start Easter festivities with a midnight mass on Holy Saturday or Easter Eve. Holy Saturday, or the day before Easter Sunday, is the last day of Lent – a 40-day period during which believers fast and practice abstinence while a lot of churches hold sunrise services to observe the start of the Easter day.
Easter is celebrated as a joyous occasion and the Sunday prior is called Palm Sunday which marks the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem. Various churches begin the celebration in the late hours of Saturday through a religious service called Easter Vigil while the non–religious celebrations include the tradition of Easter eggs, which represent fertility and birth, and the Easter bunny which delivers chocolates and sweets to kids on Sunday morning.
The eating of chocolate eggs, however, is a fairly recent tradition, which started in France and Germany in the 19th century. Like Father Christmas, who brings gifts for children who behave, the Easter bunny too brings chocolates for boys and girls who have been good. The now-famous Easter bunny originated in Germany and was first referred to in German literature of the 17th century.
Chocolate-filled eggs or brightly painted eggs with sweets inside are common gifts exchanged on Easter. People choose to loosen their purse strings and splurge on the Easter weekend as the celebrations arrive after a 40-day lent period. Some examples of non-religious Easter traditions include a treasure hunt like the search for Easter eggs and games such as egg rolling and egg decorating.
Did you know hidden messages or pop-culture references in films, multimedia games, and other media are also termed Easter Eggs? That’s because Easter eggs mimic the idea of the hunt for an Easter egg during the festival. These could be hidden messages, characters, or images. It’s like a little secret that the software programmers or directors want to share, yet be discreet about them. It is a fun and engaging activity to look for these Easter eggs because it usually reveals more about the character or the plotline.
The significance of egg hunts and bunnies:
Happy Easter 2022: Baskets full of painted eggs have become the most common sight associated with Easter celebrations.
Easter 2022: Know the origins of the Easter egg hunts.
Egg hunts and bunnies are among the most popular traditions associated with Easter — the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection. The festival falls on April 17 this year.
What are the origins of these traditions?
Some believe that Easter eggs came from pagan spring festivals to celebrate the goddess Eostre. Some Germanic cultures held the belief that goddess Eostre and her egg-laying rabbits signaled the arrival of spring.
For thousands of years, eggs had been considered symbols of life and rebirth. Eventually, they came to symbolize Christ’s resurrection.
Church leaders did not permit the consumption of eggs in the week leading to Easter, so eggs laid during that period were saved, decorated, and presented to children.
Traditionally, Easter eggs were colored red as a symbol of Christ’s blood.
The game to hunt for Easter eggs is believed to have originated in the 1700s. The Pennsylvania Dutch community believed that there was a bunny called Osterhase, the Easter bunny’s precursor, who laid eggs in the grass.
Children would go looking for the eggs laid by Osterhase. Osterhase gave way to the Easter Bunny, and even though the Easter Bunny is not known to lay eggs, the tradition of creating nests, and baskets and going looking for the presents it left endured.
In Victorian England, real eggs began to be replaced by artificial ones containing treats and toys. In the 19th century, candy makers in Europe began creating Easter special egg-shaped chocolates and candies — which are a key part of modern-day celebrations.
Another game played to mark Easter is egg rolling. Hard-boiled eggs are sent downhills. The egg that rolls the quickest emerges the winner.