I enjoy Easter, the indulgence, the family meal, our traditional egg hunt, though Easter means much more to me than that. For me it is also about, a time of newness and renewal.
I had a strong Christian childhood and the passion of Christ dominated this time of year. The amount of people aligned to the Christian faith is in decline. In the 2001 census 71% of the British population claim to be Christian though as little as 5% attend a Church each week and around 15% attend once a month.
“Almost 80 per cent of children do not know the true meaning of Easter, with a quarter thinking it is to celebrate the Easter bunny’s birthday, a poll has found.”
I even heard of a child who thought Easter was the celebration of the invention of chocolate, and in many ways I guess it is. Children will indulge in an average of more than two-and-a-half kilograms of chocolate over the Easter holiday – taking in nearly 13,000 calories and 650 grams of fat, a survey found and that is a lot of weight on. That is also true for adults as the indulgence begins.
A poll, by mystery shopping company Retail Active, found a typical 200g Easter egg has 990 calories and 50 grams of fat, with youngsters aged 10-14 eating an average of 13, many first thing on Easter Sunday.
So ok, what are we doing here? Where does it all come from?
Before the Christians hijacked the Pagan Anglo Saxon festival of ‘Eostre’ spring time was all about renewal. Some sources suggest Eostre originated in Greece where Eos was a God. In the Germanic cultures the festival at this time of year was known as ‘Ostara’.
The image of the Bunny and the Egg are both representatives of the newness of life and the celebration of spring and the new life to come. The Easter Bunny legend as we know it today, emerged in the 1500s. A legend “about a rabbit laying eggs and hiding them in a garden” was first published in 1680, reports Discovery.
The Christian story of Jesus and his rebirth from the tomb is representative of the same concept, accepting the Christian message of Jesus suggests that he died to save us all, which is also the idea of new life and renewal.
Whoever you are and whatever you believe, be you Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Jaine, Buddhist, Angostic, Atheist, Humanist or none of these, enjoy the spring, look out the window and see the green shoots of spring and the new life to come and, be happy.
Take care and remember to live in the present.