Explaining how the resurrection of Jesus Christ is related to the Easter Bunny and Colored eggs

The Evolution of Easter and its Symbols

For the predominantly Catholic Pilipinos and Pilipino-Americans, Easter Sunday is deemed to be the greatest feast of the Christian liturgical year.  This holiday marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead after having died for our sins, and comes at the conclusion of the 40 days of prayer, fasting, sacrifice, and alms-giving that is practiced during Lent.

However, in our current American society, Easter is no longer an exclusively religious celebration. For many people, this is a holiday that is symbolized by a cute, colored-egg-laying Easter Bunny. While on the surface these very disparate symbols might seem very strange in context together, looking back at history helps to clarify the confusion.

Spring has always been deemed to be the season of rebirth and renewal, and in the days before Christianity, many pagan cultures held "spring festivals" to celebrate the rejuvenation of life and to help promote fecundity. One of these festivals was in honor of "Eostre" or "Eastre", the goddess of dawn. Eostre was closely linked to the hare and the egg, which were (and still are) both symbols of fertility.

In the early days of Christianity, it was very common for the priests and missionaries to facilitate the acceptance of this new religion by placing pagan ideas and rituals within the context of the Christian faith. Since the Eostre festival occurred around the same time as the Christians’ springtime celebration of Jesus’s resurrection, missionaries began turning the festivals into Christian holidays as a way to convert the pagans to Christianity. Over time, these two celebrations evolved into one - drawing the hare (which eventually became the more common rabbit) and egg symbols into the new religion.

However you celebrate it, Happy Easter to you and yours!