Easter Traditions And Other Quantum Leaps

easter-2010.jpg

Easter Bunnies And Other Quantum Leaps

easter peep with eggs

Now to the point. I still have my little yellow bunny my dad gave when I was about 11 or 12 years old. Thinking about Easter, I started wondering how did we get from Christ, the cross, resurrection, (the whole Christian thing) to stuffed Easter Bunnies and marshmallow Peeps?

Well, many of you probably know. But for those that don't, here is a brief overview. And just in case you are REALLY interested, I've provide links to some of those others sites and you can read until the cows come home. But if you're one of those "just the facts mam" kind of guys/gals like me, then this should tell you all you need to know, and then some.

I know some of you are answering the "how did we get here from.. " question with BLATANT COMMERCIALISM... Hummm, close, but not quite. Please read on.

Easter. So, What's in a Name?

It is believed (by those that believe it) that the word Easter is derived from Oestar, or Eostre, the goddess of Spring and renewal. The goddess was totally into spring celebrations so the annual tradition begins.

Easter Eggs

NO! Martha Stewart did NOT invent this tradition. Eggs symbolize rebirth, new life, etc. etc. Egyptians, as well as Persians used to dye eggs and give them as gifts to symbolize the renewal of life. (This has to be true, because I read it on the web). And then, sometime after that, Martha discovered it....

Easter Bunnies

I was going to make a joke about how you'd have to be a hare-brain (get it??) to not know... but then I decided against it. Bunnies, being the prolific beasts they are, became the icons of fertility for the ancient Egyptians. As you can see, the Egyptians are getting a lot of credit for this Easter thing.

Easter Parades - Frolicking While Rome Burns

The Roman Emperor Constantine has alleged to be responsible for starting the traditional Easter Parade. It seems the common folk were ordered to dress up in their Sunday-Best to observe the Holy Day. That's one of the nice things about being an Emperor, you get to do things like proclaim "Easter Shall Be Sunday" and make it stick.. One thing led to another and all those dressed up people started sashaying around and thus the parade thing began. (Something like that).

Crosses, Easter Lilies

Much of the religious accoutrema we've come to associate with Easter in the U.S. comes from the Christians. This part of history is best left to those with more religious background than I have. A quick web search should give you a million or two pages to read from. Suffice to say, other religions get in the act besides Christians. So if religious history is your thing, think expansively.

Fun Fact about Easter Traditions And Other Quantum Leaps

Peeps

annimated sugar peepYes, and now the true symbol of Easter. Peeps are produced by the Just Born, Inc candy company in Bethlehem, PA. The short version of this story is Russian inventor, Sam Born comes to the U.S. in 1910. He starts a manufacturing company in 1923. He's pretty good at this corporate thing and acquires Rodda Candy Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1953. Now these guys invented the three-dimensional marshmallow Easter "Peep" but their manufacturing process was not quite up to snuff for Mr. Born so he finds a way to mechanize the process, and the rest, is as they say "history".  

(animated Peep, property of JustBorn.com)

author

Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of GourmetSleuth.com she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.