Chocolate bunnies, colored eggs, bunny rabbits. Easter traditions, but what do these have to do with the Catholic celebration of Easter?
Easter is the celebration of Jesus' death and resurrection, and new life through Him. Eggs, rabbits and springtime are symbols of new life. Rabbits, being very fertile, were often used in ancient Christian art as a sign of fertility and new life. Eggs were used to symbolize creation and rebirth, fertility and renewal. The hard shell of the egg is symbolic of a breaking open, the emergence of new life. This emerging is similar to Jesus as He broke open the tomb when He rose from the dead to new life.
Colored eggs also signify springtime and were often colored by boiling them with springtime flowers. The tradition of red colored eggs symbolized the blood of Christ poured out for us.
All of these symbols originate from pagan roots, and can be traced back to 13th century, pre-Christian Germany when people worshiped many gods and goddesses. The association with Jesus' resurrection came in the 15th century when Roman Catholicism became the dominant religion in Germany and merged with already ingrained pagan beliefs.
Wishing you a Blessed Easter!
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."