Easter: Christian Holiday and Pagan Traditions

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Egg painting is one of the most common pagan traditions.

Rachel Dearing, Staff Writer

Easter is the most important Christian holiday. It is the belief that Jesus Christ the son of God, was crucified and rose three days later. Those who celebrate Easter religiously, may also celebrate Holy Week, the week preceding Easter Sunday. The Thursday of Holy Week is the celebration of Jesus’ Last Supper, Good Friday is a remembrance of Jesus’ crucifixion, and Easter Sunday is a celebration of Jesus having risen from his tomb. Even though this is thought of as a Christian holiday, there are many pagan ideas attached to it. 

Easter egg decorating, the bunny, baskets, and egg hunts are all pagan traditions, but some have religious views behind them. For example, eggs represent fertility and birth. Therefore, Easter eggs represent Jesus’ resurrection or rebirth. In olden times, church denominations such as Lutherans and the Quakers deemed all of these activities as too non-religious. In the modern world pagan traditions and religious traditions have been intertwined. Christians and non-Christians recognize Easter as a holiday and many Christians have adopted pagan traditions. Given that both religious and pagan traditions have been adopted Easter egg hunts, and egg decorating are more common. 

“Even though I celebrate a more religious Easter, I also participate in many of the pagan traditions as well,” said junior, Jackson LaMarre. “I usually attend a sunrise church service, have a small Easter hunt, eat breakfast, and then finish with what we call Mondo. It is typically two large, golden, eggs one for the kids to find and one for the adults to find. In those eggs, there is a $100 bill. Whoever finds the eggs first gets to keep the money. One year they hid it in my aunt’s car trunk. That is how she found it.”  

Easter this year fell on April 4. It typically falls on the Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or even after the spring equinox. This year it looked different for everyone because of COVID-19. Many students were still able to celebrate small and still participate in their traditions. Those traditions included egg painting, seeing each other, egg hunts, and even receiving chocolate Easter eggs.