This year, 2018, Easter will be on April Fools Day. Crazy, right? But there’s more to Easter than Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs.
“The tradition of painting hard-boiled eggs during springtime pre-dates Christianity. In many cultures around the world, the egg is a symbol of new life, fertility and rebirth. . . Before Christians celebrated the resurrection of Jesus, some argue ancient pagans in Europe observed the Spring Equinox as the return of the Sun God — a rebirth of light and an emergence from the lean winter. . . For Christians, the Easter egg is symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Painting Easter eggs is an especially beloved tradition in the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches where the eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross,” the Huffington Post states.
How did Easter become to be about bunnies and chocolate eggs?
Nobody knows for sure how the Easter Bunny and candy on Easter came to be. However, there are many theories. “ One theory is that the symbol of the rabbit stems from pagan tradition, specifically the festival of Eostre—a goddess of fertility whose animal symbol was a bunny. Rabbits, known for their energetic breeding, have traditionally symbolized fertility,” states Time.
Time also suggests, the Easter bunny came to America in the 1700’s with the German immigrants. Their Germans called their Easter bunny “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Children would make nests for the bunny to lay its colored eggs in. Later, this tradition spread throughout our nation changing eggs to candy and money and changing nests to baskets.
How do people celebrate Easter?
There are a lot of ways that people celebrate Easter. Some throw huge parties and hang out with family. According to WhyEaster.com, Many churches celebrate Easter at midnight. They use candles to help believers remember the day that the Savior, Jesus, brought God’s light into the world.
Other churches start their service in the dark. Then, the pastor lights twelve candles. Those twelve candles are then passed around to light other candles. “When a candle is lit the Priest says ‘Christ is Risen!’ and the congregation responds ‘He is Risen Indeed!” (WhyEaster.com).
Most churches are filled with bright flowers on Easter to represent new life and new beginnings. Priests wear their brightest robes. Some churches even have a model of the tomb in which Jesus laid.
Italy’s Pope holds huge celebrations in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. People from all over the world come to their celebration on Easter Day.
While there are Midnight church services, there are also sunrise services to celebrate the start of Easter.
There are so many different traditions people celebrate and embrace on Easter.
What are the origins of April Fools Day?
Some historians trace back the impish tradition to Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” in 1392. One of them, called “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale,” is a mock-heroic that emphasizes foolishness.”
The Canterbury Tales starts on March 32nd which is a funny way of saying April 1st. Many educated scholars think this was a misprint and he really meant March 31st.
Some historians believe that April Fools began late in the 1500’s when the French government switched their calendar from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.
Why we Celebrate April Fool’s Day?
USA Today has an interesting article on this topic. USA Today states, “In the 19th century, the day was considered a children’s holiday in Europe and North America. Children got to misbehave for a day, despite their parents’ annoyance. The streets in London and New York were filled by children known as “street urchins” who devised all kinds of mischief.”
As April Fool’s day developed into a national and global holiday, writers and journalist took this as an opportunity to show off their crazy, funny stories. Many companies also, on this day, began talking to their customers with a sense of humor. USA Today quotes, “April Fool’s Day is crucial in society because people need at least one out of 365 days to express their inner clown in a pro-efficiency environment where playfulness is not always revered, Boskin said.”
USA Today also quotes, “Allowing people to misbehave and break social rules for one day reinforces the social order, Boese said. “A glimpse of what chaos would look like reminds everyone why they need to behave for the rest of the year.” “Pulling practical jokes can be a lot of fun, but humor experts warn against crossing the blurred line between humor and harm. “The first rule is always to do no harm. And nothing illegal,” Boese pronounce.
The Chances of Having Easter on April Fool’s Day
In conclusion, 2018 spring break will be exciting. This year will be the first year Easter has fallen on the First of April since 1956. Plus, Easter will not fall on the first of April until 2029. SO take this Easter as a momentous occasion because this won’t happen for another 11 years.