Easter, Passover and the Inevitable Chocolate Bunny
You’re probably saying to yourself, “Hey, isn’t this the first Sunday after the full moon following the March Equinox? You bet it is! That would mean it’s Easter, a significant holiday for Christians all over the world. Concurrently, Passover is taking place in the Jewish culture. Both holidays are rich with history, pageantry, and religious significance. Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ on the third day after his entombment at Calvary, and Jews celebrate their freedom from enslavement by the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt.
Passover’s Rich History
Passover Seder is observed in Jewish culture, an elaborate tradition that includes a 15-part Seder ritual beginning with Kadesh and concluding hours later with Nirtzah. Long ago, Jews were instructed to mark their houses, doorways and gates with the blood of a slaughtered lamb. It was said that God would ‘pass over’ these houses, sparing their occupants, while laying waste to their oppressors.
The Evolution of the Easter Bunny
Interesting that the bunny has become a symbol for Easter. In ancient times, the rabbit was believed to be hermaphroditic, meaning it could be a virgin and still reproduce. In this way, the rabbit became a symbol of chastity and was connected with the Christian church and the Virgin Mary. The actual term Easter Bunny can be traced back to the 17th Century when Georg Franck von Frankenau mentioned such a creature in his book, De obis Paschalibus.
100-years later, the legend picked -up steam as Pennsylvania-Dutch settlers in the northeast told their children of the wondrous Osterhase, a magical rabbit that layer brightly-colored eggs. Of course, taking a page from a large-man in red with flying reindeer, only good children were said to be rewarded Osterhase’s brightly colored eggs.
Importance of Easter
Whether or not you observe Easter, Passover, or none of the above, there’s something to love about this time of year and the coming of spring. It’s an opportunity to gather with friends and family, take stock of one’s good fortune, strengthen bonds of friendship, faith, and family, and anticipate the warm days to come. If you choose, it is also time to bite the head off the chocolate bunny or a Peep!
Opinion piece – Kacy R – Assorted Miscellaneous Blog – SIS International Research