Post on 08-Mar-2016




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Now You Can Have Loads of Fun and Educational Easter Activities for Kids - Right At Your Fingertips!


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    Why is the egg the symbol of Easter?

    Hens will only lay eggs when they've received at least 12 hours of light a day. Before electriclights, this meant hens only laid eggs in the six months of the year when the earth gets the mostsunlight, from the spring equinox to the fall equinox. Fresh eggs were a natural sign of spring inthe time when they were only available during the warm months of the year. Like seeds, the egg isalso a symbol of the beginning of life.

    According to some historians, the egg was adopted as the symbol of Easter because Christianstraditionally abstained from eating eggs during Lent. On Easter, they could break their egg-fastand eat them again. Eggs, according to St. Augustine, are also a symbol of hope, because theegg, like hope, is something that has not yet come to fruition.

    Another connection Christians make with the egg is the phoenix. This mythical bird builds a funeralpyre for itself and dies. From its ashes, an egg emerges, and the phoenix is reborn. Because of itsdeath and resurrection, the phoenix became a symbol for Jesus.

    Many cultures consider the egg a symbol of rebirth and reincarnation. In Asia, eggs dyed red aregiven at births and funerals. In some parts of Africa, and also in the Appalachian Mountains in theUnited States, eggs are buried near cemeteries to encourage the souls of the dead to be reborn.

    The Easter egg hunt became popular in the United States only during the Civil War, whenAbraham Lincoln brought the practice to the White House lawn. The practice of hunting hiddeneggs in spring predates Lincoln by thousands of years, though. It originated in Asia, where thehunt for the icon of reincarnation symbolized the individual's personal responsibility for his or herown karma. It's emblematic of the hunt for new life for the soul.

    In ancient Europe, the custom was to place eggs under the barn to increase the fertility of theanimals...or under human beds to increase our own fertility. Planting eggs in a field or garden wasalso thought to make the plants more fruitful.

    Eggs, in many ancient mythologies, played an important role in the creation of the world. In Hinduand Phoenician mythology, the world is formed from an egg which emerges from the primordialwaters and splits in two. One half becomes the earth, and the other half becomes the sky. TheFinnish creation story tells of the world forming from eggs laid in the lap of the water-mother.Hawaiians also have a legend about the big island of Hawaii forming from an egg laid on thewater. It's unknown if there is any historical connection between these early creation stories andthe Easter egg, though.

  • Eggs play a role in the Jewish Passover meal, the seder. They represent mourning for thedestruction of the Temple. The Jewish celebration of the ancestors' escape from Egypt may haveborrowed the symbol of the egg from Egyptian mythology.

    Some European superstitions concern an egg laid by a hen on Good Friday (the Friday beforeEaster, commemorating the day Jesus died). It is said that such an egg is a powerful amuletagainst sudden death, or that it protects orchards from blight. The yolk of an egg laid on GoodFriday, if kept for a hundred years, is said to turn into a diamond.

    Other traditions say it's the Easter rabbit that lays the eggs. This custom supposedly arrived in theUnited States with Pennsylvania Dutch settlers. German children prepared a nest for the "OschterHaws" (Easter hare) on Easter eve and found it filled with colored eggs the next morning. Theassociation of Jesus with the Easter bunny may have come about because the rabbit emergesfrom its burrow in the ground like Jesus emerging from his tomb.

    Some say the rabbit is also a form of the ancient Germanic goddess of the spring (sometimescalled Eostre or Ostara, but this name may not be historically accurate), whose is a shape-shifterand can take on the form of any animals. Like the Greek goddess Artemis, the Roman Diana, orthe Eastern European veela, she's the Lady of Wild Things, the huntress-goddess who serves asan intermediary between human beings and their game.


    Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Erin_Schmidt

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