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Do Bunny, Egg, and Jesus Really Mix?

Exploring Christian traditions often provides a fresh outlook. Reflecting on this, I observed how my church community was gearing up for the celebrations. Discussions were centered around preparing eggs, decorating actual ones, and filling plastic ones with sweets and money. Fortunately, there was no mention of purchasing a bunny costume, as individuals costumed as the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus unsettle me, and nobody suggested that I wear the furry holiday outfit.

Amidst all that’s happening, I find myself pondering the connection to Jesus. I’m that person who questions everything—not to cause trouble, but to understand the reasons behind it all. When someone says, “That’s just how it is,” or “That’s just how we do things,” I can’t help but ask why. Tradition matters to me, but I’m more concerned with its origins, and I become skeptical if it seems no one has considered the rationale behind a tradition. After all, traditions often have tenuous reasons for their widespread practice.

Easter Sunday holds many surprises, and Britannica, a trusted research source, sheds light on some of them. According to Britannica, “The Council of Nicaea in 325 established that Easter should be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox (March 21), making Easter a movable feast that could fall between March 22 and April 25.” This clarifies the common query about the exact date of Jesus’ resurrection. Regarding Easter symbols, Britannica states, “The custom of the Easter rabbit, believed to lay, decorate, and hide eggs, started in Protestant areas of Europe in the 17th century and spread in the 19th century. In the U.S., the Easter rabbit also brings baskets with toys and candy to kids on Easter morning, a tradition diverging from Catholic customs. Interestingly, in some parts of Europe, other animals like the cuckoo in Switzerland and the fox in Westphalia are said to deliver Easter eggs.”

Certainly, as Britannica highlights, Easter’s celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection has seen its traditions evolve significantly through the ages. The way it was first observed is quite different from how it’s celebrated in America today. Historical and cultural shifts have gradually reshaped these traditions, changing their original meaning and purpose.

The Easter holiday we celebrate today isn’t necessarily incorrect or in need of reform. It’s quite common for people to repurpose ancient symbols with new meanings that resonate with contemporary values. This isn’t a practice confined to Western culture; it’s seen in Eastern traditions as well. The Bible itself, including the Old Testament, is filled with examples of this, using familiar images and symbols to communicate messages of theological importance and to highlight the dominance of Israel’s God above others.

In wrapping up this history discussion, it’s my view that we Christians observe Easter Sunday in line with Church tradition, which doesn’t detract from the true essence of Jesus’ Resurrection. Indeed, the egg and bunny may seem like peculiar symbols to mark such a momentous triumph over death, but they’re our way of imparting significance and honoring the sacrifice made by God for our liberation. It feels right to celebrate Easter Sunday with that same sense of liberty, setting aside any strict adherence to our current cultural commemorative practices, and recognizing that God understands our intentions. Should there be a compelling need to alter a tradition as culturally ingrained as Easter Sunday, or even Christmas, perhaps it’s best to entrust that change to divine guidance, believing in the Holy Spirit to lead the way.

Echoing Jesus’ words, “Let the children come to me,” we might also embrace the idea of letting children enjoy their childhood and the fun that comes with it. So, go ahead and collect those Easter eggs, delight in the chocolate bunnies, and sing songs that honor the sacrifice of our Savior who secured our liberty. May peace prevail and the spirit of dominion fade from our hearts.

Published inBiblical Analysis