Monthly Features
More to Easter than buns and bunnies
by Mornington Peninsula Magazine

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Eggs are a potent symbol of life, renewal and rebirth dating back millennia. The egg was adopted by early Christians as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The hard shell of the egg represented the tomb and the emerging chick represented Jesus, who triumphed over death.

The tradition of eating eggs on Easter is tied to Lent, the six-week period before Easter during which Christians traditionally abstained from all animal products, including meat, dairy and eggs. Because chickens continued to lay eggs throughout Lent, people would hard-boil the eggs, decorate them and save them for Easter.

The modern tradition of eating chocolate eggs at Easter is a fun, kid-friendly twist on this ancient religious ritual, which is thought to have originated in Europe during the early 19th century. However, it could date back even further to the Wiccans, who used to bury coloured eggs symbolising their hope for bountiful crops and new flora in the coming year. The bunny represents new life because of its reproduction prowess.

The reason Easter’s date changes each year is because it’s based on the Pagan solar calendar. Pagans would celebrate the new season on the Sunday after the first full moon of the northern spring equinox. Also celebrated at this time was Eostre, the goddess of dawn.

Today we celebrate with hot cross buns on Good Friday and chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday. We can hardly wait, can you?

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