Teacher Guide To Easter
The earliest celebration of Easter was during a pagan festival that was held in honor of the goddess of offspring. This society celebrated Easter as a time of renewal for the earth, when seeds were planted and animals were giving birth. The springtime tradition of celebrating rebirth has remained, but in modern society Easter is more of a religious celebration, even though children still hunt eggs and are visited by the Easter bunny, which have nothing to do with religious beliefs. After the birth and death of Jesus as the leader of Christianity over two thousand years ago, Easter became symbolic of Christianity as a celebration of the rebirth of Jesus. Nowadays many churches have Easter ceremonies and tell the story of Jesus' life and death on this holiday.
Every year Easter falls on a different day because it is set for the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox. So this means that Easter is celebrated on different days during the same year depending on where in the world people are living. The dates of Easter fall between March 22 and April 25. Easter is the holiday that celebrates the beginning of the spring season, and all of the customs are symbolic of rebirth, such as the Easter egg, baby rabbits and chicks that are popular gifts for children on Easter.
The modern day traditions of Easter include decorating and hunting Easter eggs which are usually chicken eggs, plastic or made out of some sort of candy or chocolate. Real eggs are dyed using different techniques that include glitter, stickers and other decorations. Easter egg hunts are held all over the world, and in the United States the home of the largest Easter egg hunt is in Banks County, Georgia, where eggs are dropped by helicopter over a field and kids use trash bags to pick up the thousands of plastic eggs. The real fun of an Easter egg hunt is finding the prize eggs filled with money, toys or candy. In fact, each Easter, over seven billion pounds of candy is sold on this holiday.
The Easter bunny also makes its rounds during the celebration and is thought by children to be the one who hides all the Easter eggs. The first Easter bunny was brought to the United States by German immigrants after the Civil War in 1865. Ever since then bunnies have been associated with the holiday just as much as eggs. The flower of Easter is the Easter lily, and these are popular all over the United States as a symbol of time.
In Russia, Easter eggs are dyed by boiling the eggs with onion peels and silk. The Easter eggs are considered magical charms, and are used to ward off evil spirits and bring wealth and happiness to the owner. In Greece, Easter eggs are dyed red to symbolize the blood and passion of Jesus. Also, children play a game called "tsougrisma" where they knock real eggs against one another to see whose egg will crack first; the lucky winner is the person who does not crack their own egg. In Brazil Easter is celebrated during the autumn season because of its location below the equator in the southern hemisphere. Roman Catholics celebrate Easter as the end of Lent which is a religious fast that lasts for forty days.
Related Teacher Resources That Are Worth A Look:
- Basic EASTER Word Problems
- Create Your Own Easter Story
- Easter Egg Orienteering Hunt
- Follow Directions: Easter Basket