I know I am.
I’m excited to drive home from Springfield, see my family, go to church, hide eggs for my nieces to find…you get the idea. But I’ve always had questions when it came to this holiday: Why does the date change from year to year? Why do we celebrate Easter? What does the Easter Bunny bringing colorful eggs have to do with the bible?
For The Pariscope‘s first post, I decided to do a little rabbit-hunting to track down some answers. What’s up with this ‘eggs’cellent holiday?
Jumping for Jesus
Every year, the holiday of Easter is celebrated sometime between March 22nd and April 25th, always on the Sunday after the Paschal moon. What exactly does that mean? According to Farmer’s Almanac, the Paschal moon is the full moon after the Spring Equinox.
Try explaining that to a small child who has had (up to that point) a simple understanding that holidays were supposed to happen on the same day every year. I never knew when the Easter Bunny would come, which I guess made the holiday all the more fun.
To make it a bit complicated, Easter Sunday is just a part of a “season” for the christian religion.
The History Channel’s website gives a good summary of the holidays relating to Jesus’ biblical journey:
Lent, the 40-day period leading up to Easter Sunday, is a time of reflection and penance and represents the 40 days that Jesus spent alone in the wilderness before starting his ministry, a time in which Christians believe he survived various temptations by the devil. The day before Lent, known as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, is a last hurrah of food and fun before the fasting begins. The week preceding Easter is called Holy Week and includes Maundy Thursday, which commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his disciples; Good Friday, which honors the day of his crucifixion; and Holy Saturday, which focuses on the transition between the crucifixion and resurrection. The 50-day period following Easter Sunday is called Eastertide and includes a celebration of Jesus’ ascension into heaven.
Specifically, Easter Sunday celebrates the day he rose from the dead which is why the holiday is symbolic of birth and renewal.
I have fond memories of going to Dollar General and buying those dollar egg coloring kits. I’d sit on my grandmother’s porch and dump the eggs into red solo cups full of dye.
I was never sure why we would do this, or why it was always a rabbit (and never a chicken) that came to give me goodies, but I had fun nonetheless.
There is a lot of heresay about how these traditions came about, but a popular belief is that it came to America with the German immigrants in the 1700s. In many cultures, both the egg and the rabbit are symbols of fertility and new life, often included in rituals that took place in Spring.
These traditions come from a blending of many. We see that in our culture today.
Catie Nobis, 2014 graduate of Paris High, believes Easter is purely a religious holiday. “To me, Easter means a renewal of one’s spiritual journey.”
For Steven Adams, father of two, Easter is “about family being together celebrating life with big meals, family games, tossing a football around, and of course, for the kids hunting Easter eggs.”
Russell Mitchell, 2015 graduate of Paris High, is somewhere in the middle: “Easter is all about family. We have a big meal and then the Easter Bunny comes to visit and brings us candy, and whatever else, we may need! We also usually go to church!”
Events for All
Even in the small town of Paris, Missouri there are multiple events a family can attend to make sure everyone has a happy Easter.
On Friday, March 25, you can attend the Paris Senior Center’s Easter Bake Sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the community Easter egg hunt at the Monroe Manor. Age groups include 0-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Prizes will be given to 1st, 2nd, 3rd place (and last place with least amount found). Registration will begin at 1:30 p.m. It’s a perfect picture opportunity, as well, because the Easter Bunny will be making its appearance!
On Saturday, March 26, Family Life Fellowship in Moberly will host their annual “The Great Egg Hunt” for ages 0-11 years with over 50,000 eggs and prizes. Gates will open and registration begins at 1:00 p.m. and the hunt will begin at 2:00 p.m. rain or shine.
Last, but arguably the most important, make sure to attend a local church on Sunday.
Whatever you choose to do, make the best of your Easter Sunday. You only get one a year. 🙂