Easter is one of the most celebrated days in the Western World, and although America is a melting pot of many cultures, and it is celebrated in different ways by different groups, basically Easter is a Christian holiday. It is considered one of the oldest and holiest times commemorating the resurrection of Christ, but there are also many interesting secular facts associated with Easter:
*The name Easter derived its name from the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eastre. The goddess Eastre, was worshipped by the Anglo-Saxons through her earthy symbol, the rabbit.
*The custom of giving eggs at Easter time has been traced from Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans, to whom the egg was a symbol of life.
*Each year nearly 90 million chocolate bunnies are made, and when it comes to eating chocolate bunnies, the ears are usually eaten first by about 75 percent of people. It is important to keep all the chocolate bunnies out of reach of curious four-legged companions because chocolate is extremely toxic to dogs. Actually all Easter treats should be kept away from your pets!
*16 billion jelly beans are made for Easter, with red jelly beans being the kids’ favorite.
*The Easter bunny was introduced to American folklore by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700’s. The arrival of the “Oschter Haws” was almost as important as the visit from Chris-Kindel on Christmas Eve.
*American children play games including the Easter Egg Roll, where people roll eggs down an incline, racing to see which egg gets to the bottom first, or Easter egg hunts where adults hide the eggs and the children see how many they can find. . Probably the most famous egg hunt takes place on the White House Lawn where hundreds of children enjoy the fun.
Penney Schwab shares her favorite Easter surprise:
On this Holy day, I acknowledge that I am truly blessed. Morning worship featured an excellent choir and inspiring service, and our daughter-in-law prepared a veritable feast for dinner. The traditional family egg hunt ended with only two children in tears, and they were soon comforted as the older ones shared their cache of eggs. Easter is always a special day, but last year’s was especially memorable. The children had barely finished their egg hunt when my husband Don announced, “We need to leave early because we have to stop and get your Easter surprise.”
I looked at Don, then at my smiling children and grandchildren. My heart dropped to my toes, as I remembered remarks made earlier in the day. Without thinking, I blurted out, “Not a dog! It better not be a dog! The last thing I need is someone else to take care of.”
Shock, hurt and dismay registered on every face. I tried to backtrack but, of course, I couldn’t undo the damage. Finally one of the children asked, “Won’t you at least look at her?” I reluctantly agreed and our son found an old animal carrier for us, “just in case.” You can guess what happened: I met a fat, wiggly ball of fur and promptly fell in love with Tarby, a golden lab pup.
Is she something else to care for? O, yes, but is she worth it? Absolutely. This past year has had a few bumps, and Tarby’s wagging tail and yips of “hello” never failed to lift my spirits. The gift I didn’t want turned out to be the next-to-best Easter gift ever; the most precious Easter gift of all, of course, is the resurrection of Jesus.
May the glory and promise of this day bring you joy and happiness. Alleluia. Have a blessed Easter.
(Larsen may be contacted at Paw Prints, Box 373, Newell, Iowa 50568 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)