Easter is the time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, but this usually gets pushed aside by traditional Easter activities such as the Easter Bunny, coloring eggs, egg hunts, etc. Easter comes at springtime and some of our traditions at Easter are actually a part of the pagan Spring celebration. But that’s ok . . . we can use these tangible things to help children understand intangible ideas .
The name Easter is from Eostre, an Anglo Saxon goddess of Spring. The resurrection of Jesus coincided with the springtime celebration for this goddess. Through the years Christians began to incorporate the pagan springtime traditions with their celebration of the Resurrection . An old English historical writing contains a letter from Pope Gregory to Saint Mellitus, who was then on his way to England to conduct missionary work among the pagan Anglo-Saxons. Pope Gregory suggested that converting heathens would go easier if they were allowed to retain the outward forms of their traditional pagan practices and traditions, while reinterpreting those traditions spiritually towards the Christian God instead of to their pagan “devils”: “to the end that, whilst some gratifications are outwardly permitted them, they may the more easily consent to the inward consolations of the grace of God”.
So let’s heed Pope Gregory’s suggestion.
Click on each of these familiar secular Easter traditions to see how to relate it to what Jesus did on the Cross:
Watch these fun Easter history facts
A great resource for telling the story of Easter with eggs is Resurrection Eggs