messianism ~ belief in a single messiah or saviour
Happy Easter Monday!
Everyone have a good weekend?
Somewhere I heard that Easter weekend has a higher sales volume than Christmas. I had my doubts about it until the hubby and I stopped into Walmart on Saturday. I could not believe the crowds, and the line-ups! After a quick walk-thru of the store we decided whatever it was we went in there for we didn't need it that badly, and we left.
I'm pretty sure everyone is familiar with the religious aspect of Easter, the crucifixion of Christ and his rising from the grave, but where does the bunny with his basket of eggs come from? Neither rabbits nor hares are known for laying eggs, nor are eggs mentioned in the biblical story of Easter. So how did the two become connected?
From what I can gather, like the tradition of groundhog day, we have the Germans to thank for the Easter egg hunts. There is a 16th century story about the Oschter Haws, or Easter Hare, that visits children while they sleep and rewards them if they've been good (sort of like Santa Claus). Before going to bed, the children made nests for the hare who would lay coloured eggs in them. When German settlers came to America, the hare became a rabbit.
As for the eggs themselves ... one theory is that the eggs are symbolic - the hard shell represents the tomb of Christ and the new life inside the egg represents His rising back to life. Less believable is the theory of an egg merchant who set down his basket of eggs in order to help Christ carry his cross and when he returned the eggs had been mysteriously decorated.
Now, early Orthodox churches typically abstained from eating eggs during Lent. There being no way to keep chickens from laying eggs during Lent, people would typically boil the eggs to preserve them and later use them to break their fast.
It has been suggested the dyeing of eggs dates back to ancient Christians who colored chicken eggs red to symbolize the blood of Christ. They've also been known to dye them green to represent spring.
I wonder if the ancient Christians ever dreamed that their tradition would one day become a multi-million dollar industry?