Politics is nothing. We are free only on the ocean. ~ Renato Beluche
Good one, Pauline!
Hope you are having a hearty Easter, Pauline. I'm of no religious persuasion, but I was brought up in what is generally considered a Christian nation at it's heart. I've never understood the bunnies and eggs thing. But then again I've never cared much about anything, so long as bunnies are involved! :D
That first comment was actually me... I forgot to sign Pauline out of the computer when I posted it. Sorry about that, Pauline!
Oh, and an explanation for the Pagan origins of the Easter Bunny can be found here:http://landscaping.about.com/cs/pests/a/easter_rabbit.htmOr if you don't want to go to the link:Origin of the Easter Rabbit: A Tradition of FertilitySome of the confusion is dispelled by looking at the origin of the very word, "Easter." For all the pagan traditions associated with it, "Christmas" is at least easily recognizable as a Christian holiday, from its name alone. But Easter is named after Eastre, a pagan Saxon goddess!Eastre (earlier, Eostre, derived from the Saxons' Germanic heritage) was the Anglo-Saxon name of a Teutonic goddess of dawn, spring and fertility. Our word, "east" is related to this deity's name. Her male consort was the Sun god, and the sun does rise, after all, at dawn and in the east. Rites of spring were celebrated in her honor at the vernal equinox (first day of spring). The first Sunday after the first full moon succeeding the vernal equinox was also sacred to her, and this pagan holiday was given her name -- Eastre. The full moon represented the "pregnant" phase of Eastre -- she was passing into the fertile season and giving birth to the Sun's offspring.Eastre's symbols were the hare and the egg. Both represent fertility and, consequently, rebirth. Since rabbits are more common in most lands than hares, over time the rabbit has been substituted -- not without merit, since rabbits are notorious for their fertility. Thus was born the "Easter Rabbit" tradition.Dyed eggs were already being used as part of pagan rituals at the dawn of history in the Near Eastern civilizations. These were the first "Easter eggs." As the traditions of the Easter Rabbit and Easter eggs evolved, they were lumped together -- somewhat incongruously. Thus in our modern Easter lore, although the Easter Rabbit is sometimes thought of as laying the Easter eggs so eagerly sought by children, the Easter Rabbit is nonetheless often regarded as male. Since rabbits don't lay eggs anyhow, I suppose quibbling over gender wouldn't make much sense.Later, the new Christian religion, with its emphasis on rebirth (through the Resurrection), found it expedient to continue celebrating Eastre's holiday. The focus simply switched to Christ -- and the spelling, eventually, to "Easter."
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