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Did you know? Egg-cellent Easter factoids

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How about a little Easter trivia?

A reader dropped by our office earlier this week to share some information from an old issue of the Detroit Lakes Tribune, which tells people, “Everything you always wanted to know about Easter, but didn’t know who to ask, where to look, or just plain didn’t care.”

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There’s not enough space here to share everything from that (very long) article, but, in light of the Easter holiday on Sunday, here are some interesting tidbits you may not have known:

What’s with the eggs?

The egg has found a place in celebrations since early times. In ancient Rome, for example, the egg was used in the annual spring celebration honoring mythical twins Castor and Pollux, who were said to have been born from an egg of Leda, the swan.

More directly related to the Easter season, Christians since early times have used the egg as a symbol of Christ’s rebirth.

The custom of coloring eggs at Easter is also ancient. Around the world, red is the most popular traditional color for Easter eggs, apparently springing from ancient times when they were colored red in memory of the blood shed by Christ during his crucifixion.

And the rabbit?

The Easter Bunny, like the egg, has its origin in ancient times. In nearly every land, the rabbit represents fertility and life; it is also often associated with the arrival of the new moon, which depicts the bringing of a new life cycle for nature.

And so, it appears the traditional cotton-tailed Easter Bunny represents more than just a distributor of Easter goodies. The rabbit plays an important part in the scheduling of the Easter holiday, because it is the moon that determines the date of Easter.

Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the first day of spring. That’s why the date of Easter changes each year between March 22 and April 25.

Customs and costumes

In Ireland, Easter is observed by dressing the children up in green, white and yellow.

In Slavic countries, it is customary to ring church bells at short intervals from morning to night, reminding the faithful that it is the greatest feast of the year.

In Europe, people take ‘Easter walks’ through fields and open spaces after their respective religious celebrations on Easter Sunday. People will sometimes form groups and march in a parade formation, in some places carrying a candle at the front of the procession.

Similarly, in the United States, the Easter Day Parade in New York City showcases the new styles of dress for the spring season – most notably, Easter bonnets.

And what about those bonnets?

The custom of wearing flowered bonnets, as well as new clothing, at Easter apparently began with the ancient belief that the earth put on new garments in the spring, and it was therefore good luck for all human inhabitants to wear their new threads at the spring holiday.

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Marie Johnson
Marie Johnson (formerly Nitke) came to the Perham Focus after several years as the Education and Arts & Entertainment Editor at the Herald-Review of Grand Rapids, Minn. She lives in rural Ottertail with her husband, Dan, and their spunky yellow lab, Louisa.
(218) 346-5900 x228
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