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- 20 Sun Apr 2014
Since its origins, Easter has been a time of celebration and feasting and many Traditional Easter games and customs developed, such as egg rolling, egg tapping, Pace egging and egg decorating. Today Easter is commercially important, seeing wide sales of greeting cards and confectionery such as chocolate Easter eggs, marshmallow bunnies, Peeps, and jelly beans. Even many non-Christians celebrate these aspects of the holiday while eschewing the religious aspects.
Wiccans and other modern-day Neopagans continue to celebrate the Spring Equinox as one of their 8 yearly Sabbats (holy days of celebration). Near the Mediterranean, this is a time of sprouting of the summer's crop; farther north, it is the time for seeding. Their rituals at the Spring Equinox are related primarily to the fertility of the crops and to the balance of the day and night times. In those places where Wiccans can safely celebrate the Sabbat out of doors without threat of religious persecution, they often incorporate a bonfire into their rituals, jumping over the dying embers is believed to assure fertility of people and crops.
The EGG as Pagan Tradition
The pagans had the egg and the hare as their symbols of spring renewal and fertility long ago. They had been through the long hard winter and saw spring as a time of rebirth as the earth was emerging forth with new life. In truth, they even believed that the egg had special powers and was put under the foundations of buildings to ward off evil. Pregnant Roman women carried an egg as a talisman in the hope that it would tell them the sex of their child yet to be born.
Man's relationship with the egg come from antiquity and were deeply rooted. There is an old Latin proverb which says, "Omne vivum ex ovo" which means, "all life comes from an egg. After all eggs are laid all over the world. There are myths all over the world that say that the whole universe was created out of an egg.
Eggs are and remain an emblem of life and an allegory for rebirth.
During the pagan Spring festival, the eggs were coloured with bright colours in attribute to the sunlight of spring.
The "Bunny" as a Pagan Custom
The hare and the rabbit were the most fertile animals known during pagan times so of course they express the idea of fertility and new life. Is it any wonder why they came to be known as the figuration of fertility in the spring when all of the plants and flowers come to bear and flourish. Although both are certainly considered representitives of fertility, it is the hare that was regarded as the real emblem because the ancients saw the hare as symbol for the moon which is another goddess symbol.