Although we all celebrate Easter on the same day, it means different things to different people. To Christians, it is the most important holiday of the year, celebrating the salvation of mankind through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. To others it is a day to be with your family and cook a giant ham. To all kids, it’s a day of hunting for beautifully colored eggs and baskets filled with candy. To candy companies and stores, it’s a gold mine. But somehow, all of these different ways of celebration have come together to make one big holiday called Easter.
The Centerpiece of Christianity If you were raised a Christian, you know that on Easter Sunday you get up, put on your brand new dress or your best tie and go to church. It is a day to celebrate the sacrifice that God made for us, so that we can be saved. The Bible talks about this most famously in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. That whoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life.” Christians of the early Church began celebrating this significant event centuries ago as part of the spring-time holiday Passover. According to Christians, the word Easter is the English translation of the Greek word pascha meaning Passover.
The Easter Bunny, Eggs, and Candy There are many conflicting opinions about the origin of the Easter Bunny and his eggs, making it impossible to know how it really started. But hunting for eggs and baskets was adopted as an American tradition in the 1870’s. Bunnies and eggs are both symbols of new life, and go along perfectly with a spring-time celebration.
Easter in My Family I was raised a Christian, so to me, Easter is first and foremost a celebration of my salvation. On Easter morning my whole family would go to church for the special Easter service, and then it was off to Grandma’s house to spend time together as a family. The eggs and baskets were already hidden, and Grandpa would be in the kitchen cooking a masterpiece. All of us kids would hunt for eggs first and then take turns playing the “Hot and Cold” game until we found our baskets. As we sat down to eat dinner, Grandma would read a verse out of her Bible, we would pray, and then eat. Now I am married and have my own daughter, and I have tried to keep our family traditions the same. Hopefully when my daughter is older, she will have fond memories of celebrating Easter just like I do.