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Easter is a fun holiday to celebrate because it is the first sign of spring arriving. Bright colored eggs brighten up the deary colors of winter and welcome in the warm days of summer.
Teach the kids all about what Easter means and share some of these fun things to do leading up to the Easter Holiday.
A Christian Holiday
Easter is the celebration of Jesus Christ rising from the dead after his crucifixion on Good Friday. The Christians today celebrate Easter in hope of new life.
An Anglo-Saxon Celebration
Easter is also celebrated by the Anglo-Saxons with festivals as far back as history can show. The Anglo-Saxons worshiped a goddess named Eastre who was the goddess of spring and fertility. As part of their festivals, they also used the rabbit and eggs as symbols of new life and fertility.
In the United States and Canada, it is the Easter Bunny or the Easter Rabbit who brings the colored eggs to the children.
In Germany and England, it is the Easter Hare. A hare is similar to a rabbit, but a bit larger.
Since they don't have rabbits in Australia, it's the Easter Bilby that brings the eggs to the children. The bilby looks like a cross between a rabbit and a mouse.
And in Italy, Belgium and France, the children believe that it's the church bells that drop the eggs in the fields on their way back to the church steeple.
It's pretty unclear as to where the belief of the Easter bunny actually started. The most common thought is that it came to America with the German immigrants and their belief of the Easter hare.
The German children believed that the hare laid the pretty, decorated eggs they received on Easter. They would build nests for the hare. When this tradition was brought to America, the next turned into baskets and chocolate and candy were added.
Easter falls on a Sunday every year. The date of Easter is always between March 22nd and April 25th and is determined by the vernal equinox.
An equinox is when the sun shines directly on the equator and day and night are almost equal in all parts of the world. This happens twice per year in May and September. The vernal equinox is on March 21st. Easter then falls on the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox. It's sounds kind of confusing, so we can leave it to the experts and just use a chart when we need to now the date of Easter.
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Easter Time for Kids