When we participate in easter celebrations every year, we go through the traditions and customs without pondering over them. There are many traditions around Easter. Many of these traditions are based on Christianity beliefs and the events from many years ago while others have begun as the result of the commercialisation of Easter. The usual practice of decorating easter eggs and hiding them, the Easter Bunny and hot cross buns, each have their own significance and are not at random. Let is explore some popular easter traditions that are followed at Easter time.
This is the most common among all easter traditions. These eggs have been dated back to ancient times when Pagans used to have celebrations to welcome the arrival of spring. Christians are of the belief that the eggs are symbolic of Christ's coming out from the cave. Earlier, it was forbidden to consume eggs during the period of lent, so eggs were decorated and kept away until easter to be eaten.
Easter is incomplete without the Easter Bunny. He seems to be a cousin of sorts of Santa Claus as both give out candies and gifts to kids. Pagan beliefs say that rabbits are the symbol of fertility as they give birth so many times in a year. They are known to represent new life and welcome spring. Long ago it was believed that there was a rabbit called Osterhase who used to lay eggs. He is supposed to have visited children and laid eggs in the nests that children lovingly made for him.
The tradition of eating ham:
In earlier times when there was no refrigerator, so meat used to be cured before to be stored and eaten during winter. Animals used to be less seen during winter and so mankind used to store meat for cold days. During easter this stored meat would be finished and the ham eating tradition lives on even today.
Hot cross buns:
Pagans celebrated the arrival of spring with Ostara, a celebration and hot cross buns have been a part of easter traditions ever since. These buns are decorated with a cross to depict the crucification of Christ. Beliefs have built up later on with people saying that when these buns are baked on Good Friday, they remain fresh throughout the year. There is also a belief that friendship remains strong if you break a bun with a friend. These buns are also supposed to have protective powers against fire and ship wreck.
Fasting during this period:
The arrival of spring indicated fresh food in plenty. This meant that people could eat more and enjoy fresh food everyday. So, they used to fast to cleanse their systems from heavy foods that they used to consume in winters.
Lamb as a tradition:
Lamb had religious symbolism since time immemorial, most probably originating from its harmless disposition. It was believed that the devil could come in any form and take up any animal form except that of a lamb. So, meeting a lamb was accepted to herald luck. Christian symbolism believe lamb to be a representation of Jesus.
Colors of Easter:
Easter traditions make use of a few particular colors in plenty. Green is symbolic of rebirth of earth during the season of spring as the trees bloom and there is greenery everywhere. Red symbolizes Jesus's blood. White stands for purity of thoughts and deeds. Brown is for earth and the gifts she gives us. Blue is for the skies above.
Easter parades offer plenty of fun activities that are strongly associated with Easter traditions. There are Easter parades and fun activities for revelers as a part of easter traditions all over the country.
Other easter traditions popular in USA
* Children play a game of easter egg roll, a popular game during easter.
* Decorating eggs and hiding them is a must among children.
* People eat baked ham, vegetables and hot cross buns on this day.
* There are pre-Lent carnivals to herald the coming of easter
* People get together and feast and have fun.
* Easter weddings are common and people like to tie the knot on this day.
Easter is a time for fun and frolic and people all over celebrate this day by eating and making merry. Children look forward to the easter day for fun-filled activities and easter eggs. There are many easter traditions being followed even today. Most of these easter traditions follow age-old beliefs and have been in vogue since ancient times.