written by Keylalah
with the help of Cristean and Joseph Wolf

Where did the Easter Rabbit and Colored eggs for Easter originate?

Joe gave me this information:
It is pretty much common knowledge that Easter is a Christian celebraton of Christ's rising, but this holiday also has pagan origins. Where did the colored eggs, cute little bunnies, baby chicks, leg of lamb dinners, and lilies come from? They are all symbols of rebirth and the lamb was the traditional religious sacrifice.

Easter falls in the spring, the yearly time of renewal, when the earth renews itself after a long, cold winter. The word "Easter" comes to us from the Norsemen's Eostur, Eastar, Ostara, and Ostar, and the pagan goddess Eostre, all of which involve the season of growing sun and new birth.

The Easter Bunny arose originally as a symbol of fertility, due to the rapid reproduction habits of the hare and rabbit.

The ancient Egyptians, Persians, Phoenicians, and Hindus all believed the world began with an enormous egg, thus the egg as the symbol of new life has been around for eons.

The particulars may vary, but most cultures around the world use the egg as a symbol of new life and rebirth. A notation in the household accounts of Edward I of England showed an expenditure of eighteen pence for 450 eggs to be gold-leafed and colored for Easter gifts.

The first book to mention Easter eggs by name was written five hundred years ago. Yet, a North Aftican tribe that had become Christian much earlier in the time had a custom of coloring eggs at Easter. Long hard winters often meant little food, and the fresh egg for Easter was quite a prize. Later, Christians abstained from eating meat during the Lenten season prior to Easter. Easter was the first chance to enjoy eggs and meat after the long abstinence.

Some European children go from house to house begging for Easter eggs, much like Halloween trick-or-treaters. Called pace-egging, it comes from the old word for Easter, Pasch. Many old cultures also attribute the egg with great healing powers.

It is interesting to note that eggs play almost no part in the Easter celebrations of Mexico, South America, and Native American Indian cultures. Egg-rolling contests are a symbolic re-enactment of the rolling away of the stone from Christ's tomb. The decoration of small leaf-barren branches as Easter eggs trees has become a popular custom in the United States since the 1900s.
Thank you, Joe, for your input, very interesting!

Cristean walks us through the holy week in Scotland.

In Scotland we have Holy Week. But what use to be for us has become a tourist event so big now, that most of the locals dont do it, because it is booked months in advance.

We have Cross-carrying Holy Week pilgrimage to Iona, off the far west coast of Scotland, We walk through Holy Week, making our way across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, through Glen and by Loch and across clifftop, until we arrive on Iona to celebrate Easter. The walking can be extremely tough in places, especially if the heavens open upon us. However, the challenges of the week ensure that a strong sense of community rapidly develops, new friends made and old acquantances renewed.

The pilgrimage also provides a space for individual prayer and reflection. There is also communal morning and evening prayer inspired by Celtic Saints and Maundy Thursday and Good Friday liturgies set in breathtaking highland scenery.

Loch Lomond borders on my home. They carry a wooden cross all the way to Lona. It takes a week to get there. Some is on paved road, but most is over very rough country.

Let's think about it...when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem riding the donkey, they waved palms and cheered Him as the Messiah who would rescue them from the Romans

The people got the palms because that is what they waved for the Romans when they returned from a victory or won a game.

Then in a few short days they turned on Him and condemned Him to death.

For Ash Wednesday the palms are burnt and the ashes are what we are blessed with on Ash Wednesday. The ashes are placed on the forehead and on our palms.

After He was praised as He came into the city of Jerusalem, Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane where He was talking to the Father of the cup that He was to drink...the crucifiction for all man kind.

Jesus endured six trials; three by Jewish leaders and three by the Romans. He survived painful beating, whipping and mocking.

Pilate tried to compromise with the religious leaders by having Jesus beaten, but this act did not satisfy them. Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified.

Jesus was mocked by the soldiers as they dressed Him in a purple robe and a crown of thorns. They spat upon Him, beat Him till He was unrecognizable, pulled out His beard, whipped Him unmercifully, then put the crown of thorns on His head and wrapped His torn body with the purple robe.

Author Arthur W. Pitt describes it this way, "With bleeding back, carrying His cross under the heat of the now almost midday sun, He [Jesus] journeyed up the rugged heights of Golgotha. Reaching the appointed place of execution, His hands and feet were nailed to the tree. For three hours He hung there with the pitiless rays of the sun beating down [on] His thorn-crowned head. This was followed by the three hours of darkness, now over. That night and that day were hours into which an eternity was compressed."

The Savior of the world had emerged from three hours of darkness, during which He was separated from God the Father. Why did the Father turned away from Him? It is against the character of God to face sin, so God withdrew Himself from communication with His Son while Jesus bore the guilt of the world's sin.

Following the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Joseph was given permission to bury Jesus, so he brought fine linen, wrapped the body, laid Jesus in a tomb and rolled a large stone across the entrance. Jesus' body was in the grave for three days. After the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of Jesus), and Salome prepared spices to anoint Jesus' body. When they arrived at the tomb, the stone had already been rolled away! They entered the tomb, where an angel said, "Don't be alarmed. . .You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you'" (Mark 16:6-7).

Through Christ Jesus, we are now able to communicate with the Father, one-on-one, and have Him in our hearts, our minds and His spirit within us, to live the life God planned for us since before the Earth was created!

I truly pray that you will come to the full knowledge of the Father, embrace Him and serve Him to the fullest. For He is our life here on earth and our promise of eternity with Him forever! Amen

Cris, Joe and I want to wish you a very Happy Easter!
If you have not read the HA Easter message, please do. It is on Foxysden website under Easter Message.
God Bless you all!