In March I wrote a super successful post about How to Explain The Spirit Of St. Patrick’s Day To Your Toddler. I received overwhelmingly positive feedback. I also learned so much from doing the post about St. Patrick’s Day. A recurring comment that I received was that I should create a similar post for each upcoming holiday. I think that is a fantastic idea! I will have to explain each holiday to Morgan anyway and what a better way than to actually learn the true facts behind them. Today I will be sharing with you How to Explain The Meaning Of Easter To Your Toddler.
To be honest with you I know very little about Easter. I do know that it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ but I had no clue how eggs, baskets and bunnies tied in until I wrote this post. I am loving learning about all of these holidays that I have celebrated and enjoyed so much all my life.
Morgan is still too young to understand fully what I share with her but I wanted to make sure that I did my research so that I can pass on to her the stories and traditions of the many holidays that we celebrate here in America.
We are not a religious household. I was brought up as Reformed/Calvinist with the understanding of God but being from a Communist country (Romania) we didn’t have much opportunity to express religious freedoms. Austin on the other hand has a Jewish and Protestant background. We haven’t picked a faith to raise Morgan in just yet but we do say our prayers every night and I want her to understand all of the choices out there so she can decide for herself one day.
I however do absolutely love traditions and customs. So I set out to learn as much as I could about Easter and the meaning behind the holiday. Here are the top 7 things that I have learned about the meaning of Easter that I will use to explain it to my little Morgan.
- The exact origins of the name Easter are unknown. However it is believed that the word Easter is derived from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility.
- Easter Sunday is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion on Good Friday. Good Friday commemorates Christ’s passion, devotion and resilience.
- Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the full moon following the Spring Equinox on March 21st. This is why Easter Sunday never falls on a consistent date and fluctuates every year between March and April.
- Easter eggs represent Christ’s resurrection. In the New Testament, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb where Jesus was buried and found it was empty. The custom of giving hollowed out eggs at Easter commemorates new life because when they are cracked open they symbolize the empty tomb.
- An Easter egg hunt where children run around searching for eggs is really re-enacting Mary Magdalene discovery of the stone uncovering Christ’s empty tomb.
- Red dye is common on Easter eggs because it represents the blood of Christ in both Orthodox and Eastern Catholic religions.
- There are many conflicting reports of how the Easter bunny became a part of the celebration of Easter. Some say that the Easter bunny is a pagan symbol for spring, renewal and rebirth; while other sources refer to a group of German immigrants who settled in America in the 1700’s and brought with them their tradition of an egg-laying hare named Osterhase. Their children made nests or baskets in which this creature could lay its colored eggs.
I feel so much better knowing the meaning of Easter. I am so very glad that I will be able to celebrate it with Morgan. You never realize how fun and amazing holidays can be until you see them from the eyes of a child. I can’t wait for next weekend so I can celebrate with my little Morgan.
During my research I found that the Christian, Pagan and Catholic accounts of Easter were somewhat different. I do not mean to offend anyone or any religion by my 7 points above. I attempted to find the most unbiased explanations. Please share with us if you have a differing opinion in the comments. Thank you!!!