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Story by Delaney Dickey / Contributing Writer
To most, Easter is a holiday filled with colorful eggs, gigantic chocolate bunnies and taking photos with the Easter Bunny. Traditions like these have been celebrated for as long as anyone can remember, but where did they come from? Here’s a look at how the Easter holiday and some of your favorite Easter activities came to be.
Before diving into the fun Easter activities, you should know the origin of this unique springtime holiday. Originally, Easter wasn’t all about scouring backyards to find hollow plastic eggs filled with treats or inhaling your chocolate bunny in record timing. This holiday traditionally started out as a Christian celebration. It’s originally meant to commemorate Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the grave. The traditions that we all have come to know surrounding Easter, also originate further back in time back.
Decorating hard-boiled eggs may sound strange to someone who’s not familiar with Easter traditions, but it’s become one of the most popular activities. In a lot of cultures around the world eggs symbolize fertility, new life and birth. This practice originally began as a pagan symbol for fertility and birth, and some cultures dyed eggs red to symbolize the blood of Christ. Now, families gather around their tables to dip their eggs into bowls of food coloring, slap some stickers on them and see whose is the most creative. However, you don’t have to just stick with food coloring and stickers. There’s a ton of different ways you can decorate eggs, so step out of the box and have some fun with it!
Easter Egg Rolls and Hunts
Easter egg rolling and hunts are two other popular Easter traditions. Some believe egg rolling symbolizes the stone being rolled away from Jesus’ tomb. There’s even an annual Easter egg roll held on the White House lawn every year. Egg hunts likely date back to around the 1700s. During this time, some believed in a hare that laid eggs. Children built nests for it to lay it’s eggs, and they would later go search to see if it had left any eggs behind. Today’s children still wake up, grab their baskets and embark on a journey to find as many eggs as possible. However, they’re usually colorful, plastic and filled with treats. Whether it’s done at home, church or a community center, Easter egg hunts are fun for all ages. There’s several egg hunts planned in the Murfreesboro and Nashville area, so make sure to check those out!
The Easter Bunny
Despite the Easter Bunny being an iconic character for this holiday, it’s exact origins remain a mystery. In many cultures the rabbit is also a symbol of fertility, so it makes sense that rabbits and eggs were paired together. In the 1700s immigrants coming to America from Germany believed in “Osterhase,” an egg-laying hare. Regardless of where the idea started, today’s Easter Bunny developed into a loving creature that hides eggs filled with goodies for kids to find. In addition to the visit from the Easter Bunny, people also go to local malls to have their children’s photos taken with the Easter Bunny-which often results in a lot of crying and screaming. Some people even take their pets to have their photo taken with the furry character. There’s plenty of opportunities in Murfreesboro to meet the Easter Bunny this year!
Easter brunch is another fun tradition that’s as old as time. Gathering with friends and family for big events and holidays is something everyone does, especially when there’s food involved. On Easter, family and friends gather to eat yummy snacks and food. Some of these dishes include Easter staples like hot-cross buns, pineapple-glazed ham, deviled eggs, roasted lamb and carrot cake. However, if you and your family don’t want to cook this year, several places are offering Easter specials. For example, On Sunday at 10 a.m., Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center is hosting an Easter brunch. Regardless of where you choose to eat, hopefully you enjoy some good food and quality time with loved ones.
Now that you know how some of these Easter traditions came to be, you can share some interesting facts with your friends and family while you’re either decorating eggs or hunting for them. Happy Easter!
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