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Easter Traditions, Explained

Dyeing Easter Eggs is a tradition that relates to Mary Magdalene, the first person to see Jesus after the Resurrection. She was holding a plain egg in the presence of an emperor and proclaimed the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The emperor said that Jesus’ rising from the dead was as likely as that egg turning red—and the egg turned bright red while he was still speaking.

According to Katherine Tegen, the author of The Story of the Easter Bunny, the tradition of chocolate eggs began in 19th century France and Germany and soon spread to the rest of Europe and eventually the United States." To receive the special Easter eggs, children were told to make nests from hats or baskets so the Easter Bunny could leave them there.”

Lamb has become another popular food to eat on Easter. According to the Easter Delights Cookbook, “Lamb is traditional because Jesus' last supper was the Passover meal. If he ate meat during that meal, itwould have been lamb. But Jews traditionally do not eat pork, so why is ham so often a part of the Eastertable? “Salted pork would last through the winter and be ready to eat in spring before other fresh meat was available."

It’s likely that children play an important role in the origin of the fun side of Easter. “For Christians, this isa serious holy day, dealing with issues of life and death,” says Robin Knowles Wallace, the author of The Christian Year: A Guide for Worship and Preaching. “Because of the difficulty of sharing these big issues inage appropriate ways, sometimes we divert to the more lighthearted symbols of eggs and rabbits, hence the proliferation of Easter-egg hunts at churches.”

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