|Behold, the Goddess of Chocolate Eggs!!|
This lovely lady was supposedly responsible for spring, and the Easter bunny. The story says that Eostre, was a big fan of bunnies. She was in a meadow one day with her posse of cherub-like babies chillin' when a song bird landed on her shoulder. Wanting to impress the babies, she decided to turn the bird into her favorite animal, a rabbit. I know what you are thinking. A posse of babies? Harry Potter style transfiguration? Mhmm. Hey, these people were gifted with fabulous imaginations! You can't deny that! Well, the babies were impressed, but the bird wasn't. He was upset that he couldn't fly or sing anymore. Apparently, any good pagan knows that rule number one is to live how you want to live, as long as you do no harm to others. Well, the bird was very unhappy with the new fur coat and floppy ears. The consequence of Eostre ruining the bird's life was for her powers to be almost completely removed. She couldn't change the bunny back!
|Which came first, the bunny or the egg??|
Long story short, Eostre's powers come back to full bloom at the very beginning of spring. This allows her to change the bunny back to a bird long enough to lay her eggs, and viola! So the bird, after laying it's billions of dollars of foil wrapped chocolate eggs, turns back into a bunny, and hops around the world giving eggs to the kiddos, to remind them of Eostre's screw up. Moral of the story, don't hurt people, be good, and nice. The bunny, the eggs, and the spring, it's all there. Makes sense in a weird way. That at least explains why the Cadbury bunny lays eggs.
|This puts my egg dipped in 1/2 blue and purple to shame!|
Now, on the subject of the hard boiled and dyed eggs, of course these were what kids got before there were Cadbury eggs. But we can thank Christianity and lent for the boiling and dying part. Apparently chickens didn't get the memo that during lent, eggs cannot be eaten!! So of course our ancestors decided to boil the eggs to keep them edible longer. Dying eggs has always been around, people used to think a colored egg was worth more. But during Easter, Christians died them red to symbolize the blood of Christ. Well then the rest of us heathens decided to go all out and color them in all colors, glitterfy them, and make plastic ones to fill with candy instead of yolk.
|Drop the baskets and hop away creepo!!|
The history of Easter is similar to almost all of our widely observed holidays. Our ancestors started out with a story and a moral to help teach the kids right and wrong. Then Christianity took those traditions, and made them their own, and then those of us that aren't religious decided to take all the best parts, and mass produce it, and flood the aisles of our supermarkets with bunnies and egg shaped chocolates the day after Valentine's day. I have a feeling that if I tried explaining this all to my 6 year old nephew I would get about 2 words into my story and he would hop off into the sunset with his basket filled with chocolatey goodness. He isn't ready to understand the intricacies of holiday evolution. But that's okay. He knows that Easter means the family will be together, we will eat fabulous food, and do some odd things like hide eggs and hunt them. We will be doing what we always do, celebrating our family, spring, and good things to come.