Sunday, March 9, 2008

So why a Bunny and Eggs for Easter?

So for those of you who don't know, there are 2 things about me that you should understand.
1) I am excentric. I am ADHD. When I am not at work in a store where I am in a position of leadership, I sometimes walk around like I am by myself. Some people think it is because I am quiet (YEAH RIGHT!), others because something is wrong... It is just because I am thinking about 20 different things at once....

and 2) When I get something in my head I have to figure it out.
For example the other day I was watching the classic movie Alexander the Great from 1952. I found that Alexander defeated King Darius of Persia which made me think, was this a decendant of Queen Esther's husband? So I spent the next 25 min's completing a geneology from different sources on this King Darius. By the way he is an 8th generation from King Darius I who was the father to King Xerses who married Queen Esther and also fought the Spartans (300).

So long ago I had to figure out the above question: Why a Bunny and Eggs for Easter...
Then when pastor mentioned it today I just had to post this.

In English, the word "Easter" etymologically comes from an ancient pagan goddess of the spring named Eostre, related to German Ostara. According to a popular piece of folklore, Eostre once saved a bird whose wings had frozen during the winter by turning it into a rabbit. Because the rabbit had once been a bird, it could still lay eggs, and that rabbit became the modern Easter Bunny.

The precise origin of the custom of coloring eggs is not known, although it too is ancient; Greeks to this day typically dye their Easter eggs red, the color of blood, in recognition of the renewal of life in springtime (and, later, the blood of the sacrificed Christ). Some also use the color green, in honor of the new foliage emerging after the long "dead" time of winter. Other colors, including the pastels popular in the United States and elsewehere (possibly symbolizing the rainbow), seem to have come along later.

German Protestants wanted to retain the Catholic custom of eating colored eggs for Easter, but did not want to introduce their children to the Catholic rite of fasting. Eggs were forbidden to Catholics during the fast of Lent, which was the reason for the abundance of eggs at Easter time.

The idea of an egg-laying bunny came to the United States in the 18th century. German immigrants in the Pennsylvania Dutch area told their children about the "Osterhas" , sometimes spelled out as "Oschter Haws". "Hase" means "hare", not rabbit, and in Northwest European folklore the "Easter Bunny" indeed is a hare, not a rabbit. According to the legend, only good children received gifts of colored eggs in the nests that they made in their caps and bonnets before Easter. This legend is most likely rooted in the European folklore about Hares eggs which seems to have been a confusion between hares rasing their young at ground level and the finding of Plovers nests nearby, abandoned by the adults to distract predators.

A hundred years later, Jakob Grimm wrote of long-standing similar myths in Germany itself. Noting many related landmarks and customs, Grimm suggested that these derived from legends of Ostara.

So now you know the REST OF THE STORY!!!

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