Glorious spring has finally arrived and Easter is just around the corner! But what is Easter all about anyway? Why do some of us spend time hiding chocolate eggs for the kids’ Easter egg hunts, share magical stories of the Easter Bunny and paint and dye eggs to be placed in beautifully decorated baskets-made-to-look-like-birds-nests? Most of us follow and accept these customs without a second thought, but if we were to actually take a moment to think about why, we would find that ironically, bunnies and eggs have a close symbolic relationship with the true religion behind Easter.
Easter is traditionally a celebration rooted in the history of Christianity and is the most significant feast in the Christian liturgical year; however, similar to Christmas, it also commemorates a mythical figure that bears gifts to children the night before the particular holiday. The duplicity and integrated symbolism of this date allows for many people from all walks of life to enjoy and partake in its celebration, making it especially unique.
While early 16th century accounts from south-western Germany and the Holy Roman Empire detail the “Easter Hare” as a legendary being who gives eggs to young children, the contemporary version of the Easter Bunny that we all know and love today did not emerge in North America until the 18th century, (a custom brought over by the European settlers). The allegory of the hare (or rabbit) and eggs focused around the Spring Equinox, represents a multilateral approach to fertility, while springtime brings forth new life, crops, food, flowers, greenery, longer days, and warmth after a barren winter. Religiously, the symbolism of the egg may directly correlate to the resurrection of Christ, as an egg encloses and conserves within it, new life. Moreover, whereas Easter marks the end of Lent, habitually, there would have been an abundance of eggs during this time for which to make use of. The Easter egg, as a popular symbol of new life, is commonly celebrated in folk traditions all across the Slavic nations.
Although the origin of the conventional custom of coloring eggs is unknown, it has its bearings in both seasonal and religious sentiments. Natural dyes within flower petals and root vegetables, when boiled with eggs, will turn the shells various colours, (thus making this custom very seasonally-specific) while many Christians of the Eastern Orthodox Church customarily dye their Easter eggs red, in acknowledgment of the blood of the sacrificed Christ. There exists numerous egg-decorating techniques worldwide, and the giving and sharing of decorated eggs varies from country to country, be it a representation of friendship, love, good wishes, unity and appreciation.
So whether you choose to celebrate Easter as a religious or secular holiday, Easter is nonetheless a family and friends affair, and what better way to get in the Easter spirit, then to join us for a truly memorable Easter Sunday Brunch Breakfast in our Grand Ballroom at the Penticton Lakeside Resort & Casino! We’ll be serving an extensive selection of everyone’s all-time favourites for only $24.95 per person! Reservations are recommended and you can contact us directly at: 250-493-9772.