The Origin and Fun Related to the Easter Holiday

Spring is just two days away! The flowers are beginning to bloom, and the birds are finally singing a happier tune and this means that Easter Sunday is just around the corner. Easter Sunday falls on April 24th this year (a little late than usual) and the thought of chocolate, egg hunts, pastel colors, and of course the famous Easter Bunny, come to mind.

However, where do all of these branded traditions relate to the Christian tradition of honoring the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead?

Well, there is no connection, simply just another day to eat candy. But, there is some interesting history behind the Easter Bunny, eggs, and how they are associated with springtime.

The origin of the Easter celebration can be traced back to pre-Christian Germany during the 13th century, according to the University of Florida’s Center for Children’s Literature and Culture. In Germany, people worshiped several god and goddesses including the Teutonic deity Eostra. Eostra was the goddess of spring and fertility and interestingly enough her symbol was the rabbit. The rabbit is a pagan symbol for fertility.

Also, the season of spring symbolizes new life and rebirth.

The Easter bunny, a counter part to Santa Claus, dates back to the 1500s. In 1680, the first published story about a rabbit laying eggs and hiding them in a garden was printed. Soon after the German settlers arrived to the Pennsylvania Dutch country, the word about the Easter Bunny traveled and became known as one of childhood’s greatest pleasures.

On April 1st check out the movie “Hop”,  which blends both art animation and live action in a film with the voice of Russell Brand. The teenage son of the Easter Bunny leaves his home on the eve of taking over the family business in pursuit of his dreams, to become a drummer. “Hop” stars James Marsden, an out of slacker business guy, whom accidently hits the Easter bunny. This movie gives the story of the origin behind Easter and provides humor to this holiday that is dated back to the 1500’s. This movie allows the viewer to see someone else’s meaning behind Easter and how this holiday makes a brand for itself.

-Micaela Fouhy, Lindsey Baggett, Drew Mayer, Will Cosden, Brianna Golden

13 thoughts on “The Origin and Fun Related to the Easter Holiday

  1. I think that it is easy for many people to get caught up with Easter and in all the excitement that surrounds it. This Easter craze can cause some to even forget the true meaning behind the holiday. Some kids and even adults do not even know why we celebrate Easter, which I think is sad. Instead of realizing that Easter is a celebration honoring the day that Christ rose from the dead, some just see it as a day to indulge in chocolate-covered candy and Easter egg hunts. This lack of understanding is particularly due to the intense branding that goes on during and long before the Easter holiday arrives. I remember walking into The Dollar General a week before Valentine’s Day and already seeing the shelves stacked with Easter goodies.

    I don’t think it is wrong to indulge during Easter time and to have some fun, but I think it is important that everyone knows the real reason as to why we celebrate this holiday. Having the Easter-themed, animated movie, “Hop,” come out just in time for Easter is a smart branding strategy. I think the movie is going to do extremely well. It looks cute, will get many people in the Easter spirit, and will certainly have not only kids, but adults, reaching for some Easter candy a little earlier than expected (who isn’t excited for those Cadbury eggs, anyway?!).

  2. I love holiday movies! And personally, I am a bit shocked that it has taken so long for the film industry to capitalize on Easter. This looks like an extremely funny game that children and parents can watch together and both enjoy. For me, Easter is an religious holiday and I go to to my church’s Easter service and reflect on the meaning behind the Easter season. But Easter, like Christmas, is a time for family. We always have a big Easter lunch after church with the whole family and have an Easter egg hunt…and even though I’m 21 I still hunt eggs so as to not break my grandmother’s heart. That is what the holidays are truly about…being with the ones you love and spending quality time with them. The candy companies, the toy companies, and now the film industry are encouraging that.

    • I completely agree with you Brittany. As much as holidays like Easter and Christmas are commercialized and their religious origins are all but forgotten, I think that the time spent with family is always the most important part. Easter was always my grandma’s favorite holiday and the one time of year that my dad’s whole family would come to visit when I was growing up. The house was filled with the smell of colored eggs and littered with candy wrappers but despite the chaos, my grandma loved every minute of it. While she dreaded the days that it would take to get her house cleaned after we all left, she knew that it would be well worth it to spend that time on Easter weekend with the family. If that means mass-production of chocolate bunnies and plastic eggs, than so be it.

  3. I think because holidays almost become a brand on there self a lot of people forget the true meaning behind the holiday. Because I went to school to a Christian school I know the story behind Easter, but I think a lot people don’t know why we celebrate this day. I think this also comes become of the marketing around the holiday’s. I think it is important that people know why we celebrate this kind of days. But I also think we should enjoy the day. I will never forgot that when I was little we always went with the hole neighborhood to the woods to find eggs! We have an emotional connection with holidays and brands know that and using it.

  4. I really enjoyed learning about the history and origin of Easter traditions, especially this close to the holiday. I have been celebrating in Easter activities for as long as I can remember and have never once thought to think about where and why this traditions came to be. I also found the movie plug to be very useful ocnsidering I babysit everyday after class and had not seen this movie advertised yet and it will be a great afternoon activity for the kids!

  5. I think it is great that someone came out with a movie that explains the origin of the Easter Bunny! It seems so silly that I am a 20-year-old college student and I could not even explain this origin. It is very obvious, however, that the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection is placed on the backburner behind the celebration of easter egg dying, egg hunts, and eating chocolate. Unfortunately, the movie “Hop” does not help this fact. Nevertheless, I must admit I would like to see this movie because it truly does look entertaining.

  6. Easter is suppose to a reliegious holiday and has been combinded with a completely different theme of the Easter bunny. When people think of Easter it’s usually of pastels, candy, and obviously the Easter bunny himself. I use to wake up early on Easter morning to see what he brought me and never realized how random it was since it had nothing to do with what I would hear later on in Mass. There was absolutely no connection but it’s never really talked about why we have these tradtions and where they came from. I would have never guessed it dated back that long. Now the holiday has religious purpose and also a highly commercialized purpose to celebrate which ever date Easter falls on.

  7. I think it is very interesting to know the actual story behind Easter and the Easter Bunny. Many people as with Santa Clause have mi9xed feelings about it. Although there really isn’t much of a connection to the Christian Tradition, I find it very interesting how when Jesus Christ rose from the dead this was symbolic to new life and rebirth as is Spring. As far as Eostra being the goddess of spring and fertility and having a rabbit as her symbol, it only makes since that we associate the rabbit with Easter which takes place during spring and the new life and rebirth of flowers, plants, etc. This was a very insightful blog.
    – Ayesha McIntyre

  8. I too agree that it’s about time we made a movie about the Easter Holliday, and this one seems to be really good! My favorite bit was though how Universal in the beginning changed their logo to have the globe take on the shape off an egg, those little clever details make me suspect this movie is thought through and made well. It’s is also sad but true that in society today we celebrate our hollidays without any connection to the roots of the religion behind them. For example I have heard that Santa Claus wears the iconic red and white clothes because of Coca cola that made an chrismas ad including Santa Claus where he naturally worn their trademark colors. Witch just shows how strongly our society is inflated by commercialism and branding.

    And although there might not be any mention of Jesus or the religious views behind the celebration of Easter I still feel this movie, that still provides some history of the holliday, is a great initiative that will be greatly appriciated by families and kids all over the world!

  9. I have always wondered what the Easter bunny could possibly have to do with the holiday, but that explanation makes much more sense than the capitalistic conspiracy theory I’d made up in my head. The rabbit as a symbol of rebirth actually aligns well with the Christian holiday considering it is the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. It’s funny how you never learn these things in school. One would think that past the “believing” age, at least some teachers would want to pass that information along, or perhaps they don’t know. Also, the reason no one really knows about it is that no one really wants to. People like buying into the fantasy. It’s fun, it’s cute and the kids love it. Like so many other things, sometimes it’s okay to just go with what you know.

  10. I think that Easter has definitely become all about sales. The Marketing world has claimed yet another holiday as a time for the cha-ching. I walked into Wal-Mart the other day and saw every kind of plastic egg that a person could imagine, chocolate bunnies of every flavor, and an easter basket or pail with every popular children’s character out there. Not once was there any special circulars on Jesus or the history of what Easter is. I remember when I was a kid, we boiled and foiled out OWN REAL eggs. Now Junior can have soccer and football eggs, and Susie can have princess pastels. Ridiculous.

  11. I could not agree more with Stephanie. I think Christmas, Halloween, Valentines day, Easter, and most other holidays have all become about alcohol and merchandise sales. It’s kind of depressing to think that our nation has come to value holidays like Easter for nothing more than chocolate stuffed bunnies, when we could be doing so much more with the few designated annual holidays we have. In India a lot of people celebrate Buddha Purnima (buddha’s birthday) where they have a longer than normal worship and usually fast or at least avoid eating meat. They tell religious stories and in general just come together to support each other in their religious beliefs. This is a legitimate holiday. Drinking green beer on St. Patrick’s day, opening presents on christmas morning, and hunting for easter eggs left by a rabbit in your yard are nothing more than hallmark holidays. I think this is why most people loose interest in them when they are old enough to see through the materialism and basic marketing ploy, while in other countries holidays remain important to people of all ages.

  12. This post was very enlightening seeing as I have never been educated on the origin surrounding the “fluff” of Easter. While I enjoy Easter egg hunts, colorful candy, and pictures beside giant bunnies, I cannot help but feel a sense of sadness for the focus taken off of Jesus’ resurrection and onto consumerism and commercialism. This has happened with several religious holidays, so the story surrounding cute bunnies and egg hunts does not surprise me. With all this being said, “Hop” looks like a fun movie but I will be slow to replace the story of Jesus with Hollywoods version of Easter.

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