insideKENT Magazine Issue 61 - April 2017 - Page 56

EASTER

Hop Along

TO ONE OF THE UK ’ S BEST EASTER EGG HUNTS

DO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ENJOY AN ANNUAL EASTER EGG HUNT ? IF YOU DO , YOU ’ RE NOT ALONE – EASTER EGG HUNTS ARE FAST BECOMING A MUST-DO ACTIVITY FOR FAMILIES UP AND DOWN THE COUNTRY , AND THERE ARE PLENTY OF DIFFERENT ORGANISED HUNTS TO ATTEND IF YOU DON ’ T WANT TO CREATE YOUR OWN .
But if you thought the Easter egg hunt was a relatively new idea , think again . It ’ s actually been around for thousands of years .
Today , Easter is celebrated as a Christian holiday , commemorating the period of Jesus ’ s death and resurrection . However , Easter is said to have Pagan roots ; even the word ‘ Easter ’ is derived from the name of the Teutonic goddess of spring , Eostre . And what about the Easter Bunny ? That ’ s all down to Eostre too . She was often associated with rabbits since the springtime is all about fertility and growth . Eostre ’ s rabbit familiars were rather special though – they lay eggs . It may seem strange , but to those who worshipped Pagan gods , the combination of eggs and rabbits was the best possible luck for a good harvest and a bright spring . Early Pagans believed that when Eostre and her rabbits walked the earth , spring was soon to follow .
Spring forward to the 1600s , and these Pagan beliefs were almost completely merged with Christian culture . Esotre ’ s rabbits ’ eggs remained as part of the celebration , although now , rather than a sign of spring , the egg was used to represent Jesus ’ s resurrection as they were seen as a symbol of new life . Easter eggs were originally real eggs dyed red ( to represent Christ ’ s blood ). Chocolate eggs didn ’ t appear until the 1900s in Europe .
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