With Easter fast approaching and the 4 day break that goes hand and hand with it I thought I would have a look at some of the traditions and facts that have developed around Easter.
The name Easter comes from Eostre, an ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess, originally of the dawn. In pagan times an annual spring festival was held in her honor. Some Easter customs have come from this and other pre-Christian spring festivals. Others come from the Passover feast of the Jews, observed in memory of their deliverance from Egypt.
Easter Sunday was adopted as a Christian celebration marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a real sign of hope and renewal making it one of the most popular services for the Christian faith.
There are some very interesting national traditions. In Sweden and areas of Finland, a version of Halloween's trick or treat and fireworks night takes place on either the Thursday or Saturday before Easter. Children walk from door to door dressed in rags and old clothes collecting treats from the locals. Fires and fireworks are also lit to scare away witches that are supposed to be able to fly to a German mountain to cavort with Satan on the Thursday before Easter.
In the dark and distant past in a time when people did have refrigerators the favorite food at Easter time was the Ham, this was because pigs were slaughtered in the autumn and cured for 6-7 months which just happened to fall on the easter break.
You might ask where did the Easter egg tradition come from its basically a pagan tradition with the egg representing the earth and its rebirth in the spring this was adopted by early Christians as a symbol of the rebirth of Jesus. The Goldsmith, Peter Carl Faberge created a beautiful Easter egg for the Czar of Russia for his wife, this famous creation stuck in peoples minds and strongly strongly in modern Easter egg design.
Many people take the time over Easter to have a break away from their daily lives with there family and take an Easter basket laden with goodies for the day and enjoy the spring and time with the people that they love. It is not uncommon to see people sat out in beautiful areas with their picnic hampers rolling hard boiled eggs down hills and celebrating the new year.