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You most likely know that Easter is this Sunday, but do you know where all the whimsical characters and customs of the religious holiday came from?
ImageThe Easter Bunny (also known as Peter Cottontail or Peter Rabbit) stems from early Christianity.  Easter is celebrated in early spring, a time associated with rebirth and renewal.  Many pagan cultures held festival to celebrate this joyous time of year. One festival, in particular, honored Eostre who was closely linked to the hare.  As the Christian faith grew, it became good practice for missionaries to place pagan ideas and rituals within the Christian context  turning these festivals into Christian holidays.  We have also seen this practice repeated at Christmas with Santa Claus.

The Easter egg is also seen a sign of rebirth and renewal.

It has been said that this custom began to celebrate the end of Lent. Since eggs were once a forbidden food during the Lenten season, Christians would decorate them with dyes and paints to mark the end of the fasting and penance.  They would then eat the colorful eggs on Easter Sunday.

The candy that fills our children’s Easter baskets also goes back to Lent.  Since Christians typically sacrifice rich food items during the Lenten season like meat, soda or candy, we celebrate the end of Lent by indulging in some sweets.

There you have it; some of the known origins about Easter. What is your favorite part of the Easter?  The Lions Pride staff wishes you a happy Easter.

Sources: http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/easter-symbols
http://mentalfloss.com/article/21411/where-did-easter-bunny-come

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