A little about Easter traditions.

Easter’s religious meaning is clear; however, there are several theories about the origins of some of the more fanciful Easter “traditions.”

Many believe that the Easter bunny came with immigrants from Germany to America in the 18th Century. Children made nests for the bunny to lay its eggs and thus a tradition was born.  Others think that eggs were once a forbidden food during Lent, so people painted them and decorated them to celebrate the end of fasting.  It seems that as far back as the 1200’s, Easter eggs were being colored and decorated.  The practice may have come from Greece, Rome, Persia and Egypt, where coloring eggs was common. Europeans in the middle ages gave decorated eggs as gifts.

Rolling eggs down hills may be connected to the symbolism of rolling the rock away from Jesus’ tomb. Some think that President James Madison’s wife, Dolly Madison, heard that Egyptian children rolled eggs against the pyramids, so she organized an Easter egg roll for children down the Capitol lawn. The event moved to the White House in 1878, when Rutherford B. Hayes was in the White House, after complaints that the Capitol lawn was being ruined. Lucky children 12 and under can still wander the White House lawn on Easter Monday looking for eggs. In small towns, those who’d dressed up for Easter would stroll through the town after services, perhaps inspiring Easter parades!

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