Easter Traditions Demystified

By: Elizabeth Schilder Email
By: Elizabeth Schilder Email

Like many moms, Diane Kienbaum is preparing for Easter getting ready for her favorite family tradition, the Easter egg hunt. But why do we hide those eggs in the first place?

Pastor Aaron Winowiski explained all of our Easter traditions. He says no matter how off beat, they all can be traced back to the early church.

"People would find as they were observing lent that they would have lots and lots of eggs that needed to be eaten. So if you boil them they'll keep than at the end of Lent, at Easter, you've got all these boiled eggs."

What else is there to do with all these eggs other than eat them of course.

In 1930, candy companies decided to cash in on the popularity of the Easter egg. They began developing a number of sweet treats, like the jelly bean. If you look closely, you'll notice they're shaped like an egg.

You may be asking, what about the loveable, fluffy bunny responsible for hiding those eggs? How did it get its start? A symbol of fertility, it only made sense the hare played some role in the celebration of spring.

"German immigrants to the United States would, would tell their kids about about the "Oster Haas," which was the Easter hare who, when they had all these eggs, would bring the eggs," Winowiski explains.

One thing the Easter bunny did not bring was the Easter ham, which, like many of our traditions, doesn't seem biblical at all.

"Jesus would not have eaten ham. He was a Jewish man and pork was completely forbidden," Winowiski says.

Once again, however, thanks to the leaders of the early church, many of us enjoy this porky treat every year.

"Ham is a meat that has traditionally been prepared during the winter," Winowski tells NewsChannel 7. "So when you have a fast from meat and that fast is over, ham is available."

Unlike Christmas, Pastor Winowiski says we are celebrating Easter at the right time of year since it directly corresponds to the celebration of Passover. Passover is based on the Hebrew calendar which is determined by the cycle of the moon. It also explains why Easter falls on a different day every year.

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