I have continued making Easter eggs this week and this got me thinking ~ What is the connection between eggs, bunnies and Easter?
Firstly, Easter is probably the oldest and most important festival of the Christian church as it celebrates the ressurection of Jesus. It could also be associated with the Pagan Goddess Eostre, who represents spring and fertility, as Pagans celebrated her in a month that was known as Eosturmonath in Old English which often fell just after the spring equimox and is likely where the word Easter originates.
So what about easter eggs? I hear you ask!
The spring equinox marks when light is equal to darkness and then continues to grow. Pagans celebrate this period as a time for renewal where eggs take centre stage probably due to the fact that hens lay fewer eggs during the winter months and also the egg is a symbol of new life.
The decorating of eggs has a long history with decoratively engraved ostrich eggs being found in Africa that are approximately 60,000 years old.
Decorating eggs, as an Easter tradition, dates back to the 13th century. Many cultures have their own traditions regarding egg decoration .
In Christianity the thought is that eggs were forbidden during Lent so people began painting and decorating them to mark the end of the period of penance. The church continued with this tradition, decorations became more ornate the eggs were often given as gifts.
From the 17th century Easter started to become ‘commercialised’ with egg-shaped toys being made for children. During the Victorian era cardboard and satin covered eggs were given, they were filled with small gifts and chocolates. During the 19th century Carl Faberge, made highly bejewelled eggs for the Russian Czar and Czarina, he made 50 in total, these have become highly prized, If and when coming to the market selling for millions of pounds.
Today, eggs are still decorated as they are a fun activity for children to do.
Today Easter is associated, by many people, by the overwhelming amount of chocolate eggs available rather than the Christian celebration of Jesus’ resurrection or the many other religious festivals and traditions. So has Easter become a festival of chocolate?
Now what about that Easter bunny?
Well believe it or not he goes back a long way, he actually pre-dates Christianity and has his origins in Paganism as rabbits were the most potent symbol of fertility and along with the egg, the start of all life, was often considered to have magical powers. To this end children would leave out their Easter bonnets or caps for the coloured eggs that the Easter bunny would deliver if they had been good.
Having made lots of pretty Easter eggs I then thought I need an Easter bunny or two. Well here is the first completed bunny face and another nine to complete. What am I planning to do with all these bunny faces? Well you’ll have to wait until next week to find out!
Last Easter I made small bunny bags, these were rather cute and when gifted full of mini eggs were much appreciated by the little people in my life.
I look forward to writing again next week, which of course will be Easter and I’ll show you what happened to that cute bunny face.
Bye for now and keep safe.
Bunny face pattern my own
Yarn: Scheepjes Catona
Pink and Blue Easter Eggs with embroidered Daisies pattern by @alistar_toys (I did adapt this pattern a little). Yarn used: Hobbii Rainbow 8/4