Kirby: Easter and the traditions that keep it


Easter 1977 is the most memorable celebration of my family for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I bet it's still a salient souvenir of Easter in the mind of another family.

We lived in Kearns at the time. It was our first home in a nice neighborhood, where we hoped to raise our young girl and get to know everyone.

On Christian Sunday, the neighbors' children were preparing to chase the Easter eggs in their garden next to a living white rabbit with a pink bow.

Just when the hunt was ready to begin, our husky-Lab mix jumped the fence and tore this Easter bunny into bloody pieces in front of them.

Oh, stop. The dog and the rabbit only followed their natural instinct. Chomper was born to be predatory. The rabbit was born to be food.

As I said, it was an unforgettable Easter party. It was also – or so I thought – a symbolic Christian message that deserves to be shared.

When our daughters appeared, they celebrated Easter in a traditional way – with boiled chicken embryos, chocolate bunnies the size of a mule, decorated booty baskets and new dresses. Oh, and the church.

My wife – a wise woman despite my marriage – has banned me from telling an important Easter story that I would like to see part of the ritual. This Chomper had killed the Easter Bunny in 1977 and, as a result, the eggs at home were delivered by a specially resurrected rabbit.

I realize that this religious doctrine is not approved. I'm in good company, though. None of the most sacred texts of the major religions mentions a laying rabbit. There are a lot of crazier things in there, of course, but not that.

Easter is a pagan festival incorporated into Christianity long ago, even before disco. Its name comes from the pagan goddess Eostre (Ishtar), worshiped centuries before Jesus.

The way in which pagan rituals were incorporated into Christianity is problematic at Easter. At first glance, a newcomer might wonder if it was the rabbits who killed Jesus and if chocolate is a kind of sacrament.

Yes I know. Chocolate is a sacrament to some people. No offense was intended.

The fact is that Easter, as it is recognized today, is a huge waste of rites borrowed / invented by various cultures unrelated to Christianity.

The egg would be an ancient symbol of new life, which Christians have appropriated to represent the resurrection. It follows that candy beans, another Easter staple, should be considered sacred rabbit feces.

Some say that the idea of ​​the Easter Bunny came to America in the 16th century, came here from German immigrants who had a whimsical tradition of laying hare.

He quickly spread. In 1878, the President of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes, virtually organized the rolling of eggs into a national ritual in which children rolled colorful eggs on the lawn of the White House.

Some see it as a symbol of the stone that was rolled from the tomb of Jesus; others see the effects of hallucinogens. Anyway, only an American president can imagine something like this.

For me, Easter is the perfect religious holiday, since irony is one of the most important principles of religion.

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