Easter!

March 31st is Easter. Now we could go on about all the wonderful arts and crafts you could make, fluffy white Easter bunnies, cute yellow chicks and of course the eggs that are so copiously given, but what does it all mean eggs-actly? (Sorry, couldn’t resist!) If your super inquisitive little people ask why we give chocolate eggs or associate rabbits with Easter will you have the answer?

White Bunnies, Chicks and Eggs

So where do the traditions of bunnies and eggs come from? Well, there are varying views on the subject, but it seems they are associated with new beginnings, fertility and growth. When you realise this, you start to see how they made it into modern Christian traditions for Easter. They sort of mimic the idea of the resurrection, although the link is somewhat tenuous!

In fact, when we dig deeper it appears that these two traditions are more closely associated with older beliefs. The Anglo-Saxon goddess, Esostre, was the goddess of fertility and new beginnings and she was associated with the month April. April is usually a time of re-growth and fertility in the plant and animal kingdom and eggs, chicks and baby bunnies would have certainly been a common site at this time of year. And there is a myth detailing the story of Esostre and a wounded bird that she transformed into a hare so it could survive the winter. The hare then discovered that it could lay eggs and decorated them each Spring in honour of the goddess. So that’s where egg painting comes from.

Chocolate eggs are just a modern commercially-driven substitute for the painted eggs that used to be given – simple as that!

Eggy Fun!

Instead of just painting your hard-boiled eggs this year, why not have a go at some traditional eggy Easter games? Two of the most popular egg-themed Easter games are Egg Rolling and Egg Tapping. Egg Rolling is pretty self-explanatory and can come in many forms. Usually, hard boiled eggs are rolled down a hill. The winner can be the person whose egg rolls the furthest, survives the most rolls, makes it between two markers or any other rules you want to use to suit your setting. It’s up to you really as long as there are eggs and rolling involved! Egg Tapping is the same as conkers but with eggs. Sounds like it could be a great big messy fun day – floor and child coverings essential!

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