Why do we celebrate Easter the way we do? Learn about these fun holiday symbols!

Easter has always been a big holiday in my family because there are so many traditions that come with celebrating it.

For as long as we have had young children around the home, the Easter Bunny has come and left candy in everyone’s baskets, and then later, he leaves colorful eggs behind for us to hunt for. Even better, our Easter eggs are filled with money!

But, if you’ve learned about many of the holidays we’ve covered in the past, the origins of these traditions are usually very different from how they’re celebrated today.

The Eggs
Three Austrian needlepoint hand-crafted Easter Egg ornaments for decoration | OrnamentShop.com

Today, we love hiding hallow eggs with money inside for Easter hunts, and we also enjoy dying hard boiled eggs as treats and decorations.

The tradition of using eggs to celebrate Easter goes all the way back to very early times in the Christian religion. Back then, Christians weren’t allowed to eat eggs during Lent, so they dyed the eggs red to represent Jesus’s sacrifice and saved them to eat on Easter Sunday.

It’s nice to know that we still use Easter eggs similarly to how they originated so long ago, even though we’ve lost much of the meaning behind it.

The Bunny

The Easter Bunny is a delightful symbol that inspires children to search for hidden eggs, but what’s funny is that not all countries choose the bunny as the animal to symbolize Easter.

The oldest origin story of the Easter Bunny is that it was celebrated as a symbol of fertility during pagan spring festivals, which pre-date Christian holidays before the religion caught on. A pink bunny ornament with blue eyes is covered in sparkles and surrounded by blue and yellow flowers | OrnamentShop.comMany Christian holidays during this time adopted pagan rituals in order to help spread the faith, similar to how St. Patrick used the shamrock to teach Irish pagans about the Holy Trinity.

In the United States, the reason why we use the bunny has to do with German immigrants who brought their tradition to Pennsylvania. Settlers in the 1700s shared the myth that a rabbit called “Osterhase” could lay eggs, and it was the children’s duty to create nests for the rabbit’s colorful eggs.

The Candy

The reason why we put candy in our Easter baskets dates back to the 1800s. European candy makers started the trend of hand-crafting chocolate eggs for the holiday as a luxury item.

A candy ornament with gourmet chocolate truffles on a display plate | OrnamentShop.comIt didn’t take very long for candy makers to mass produce their Easter sweets. They were able to introduce a wide variety of candy products and then compete for popularity. Once so many different chocolatiers could customize and sell their own special Easter treats, all kinds of candies started showing up in kids’ baskets.

Did we include your favorite Easter tradition? Tell us about what your family does for Easter in the comments below!

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