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© ГБОУ школа №281 Отделение дополнительного образования, педагог доп. образования Лындина Г.И.
Easter Sunday is one of the most festive events among Christians worldwide. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from death, as written in the Christian bible.
Many traditions of Easter, a religious holiday, have their origins in pagan rituals and beliefs. The result is lots of legends and lore behind the popular icons, symbols and customs that are part of the Easter celebration.
The Word "Easter" • Centuries before Christ, the pagan tribes of Europe worshipped a beautiful goddess of spring named Eostre (EE-ah-tra). Festivals celebrating the end of winter and the birth of spring were held in her honor at the end of March, the time of the vernal equinox. Some historians believe the word Easter is a variation of her name. • Others see a connection between Easter and the rising of the sun in the east.
Easter Eggs The egg is the world's most popular secular symbol for Easter • In all cultures, the egg symbolizes the beginning of life or the universe. A Latin proverb says, "All life comes from an egg." Eggs were dyed and eaten during spring festivals in ancient Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome and colored eggs were given as gifts to celebrate the coming of spring. These cultures regarded the egg as an emblem of the universe, the work of the supreme divinity.
Christians of the Near East adopted this tradition and the egg became a religious symbol – it represented the tomb from which Jesus broke forth. In medieval times, eggs often were colored red to symbolize the blood of Christ.
More than 1 billion Easter eggs are hunted in the United States each year in parks, back yards, and on the White House lawn.
Plastic Easter eggs made their debut in the early 1960s. More than 100 million plastic eggs are purchased for Easter. Chocolate or candy eggs emerged in the late 1800s.
Easter Bunny • The Easter bunny has its origins in pre-Christian fertility lore. Hares and rabbits served as symbols of new life in the spring season. It really is a hare – not a rabbit – that symbolizes Easter.
From antiquity hares have been a symbol for the moon, and the first full moon after the vernal equinox determines the date for Easter. Hares are born with their eyes open, while rabbits are born blind. The hare was thought never to blink or close its eyes, and it is a nocturnal creature, like the moon. The hare also carries its young a month before giving birth – like the changing moon erupting into fullness monthly.
According to one legend, the Easter bunny was originally a large, handsome bird belonging to the goddess Eostre. One day she magically changed her pet bird into a hare . Because the Easter bunny is still a bird at heart, he continues to build a straw nest and fill it with eggs.
Easter Lily • The lily is a symbol of purity because of its whiteness and delicacy of form. It also symbolizes innocence and the radiance of the Lord's risen life. It is called the Easter lily because the flowers bloom in early spring, around Easter time.
Hot Cross Buns • One of the oldest Good Friday customs is eating hot cross buns. These small sweet buns, marked with a cross of white icing, may have originated in pre-Christian times. Early Egyptians, Greeks and Romans marked their loaves of bread with symbols to honor their gods and goddesses. • Many superstitions grew out of this custom – a cross bun kept from one Good Friday to the next was thought to bring luck.• Another belief was that eating hot cross buns on Good Friday served to protect the home from fire.
In Europe during the Middle Ages, people in their new clothes would take a long walk after mass, which has evolved into the tradition of Easter Parades.
Persons participating in an Easter parade traditionally dress in new and fashionable clothing, particularly ladies' hats, and strive to impress others with their finery.
Thank you for your attention! Happy Easter!