Today is a full moon! Therefore, in the Christian church, April 4th will be Easter Sunday, a day that celebrates Jesus’ resurrection. Easter is one of the few floating holidays in the calendar year, because it’s based on the cycles of the moon. Jesus was said to have risen from the dead on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring (the vernal equinox of 20th March). For that reason, Easter can fall as early as March 22nd and as late as April 25th.
The word “Easter” comes from an ancient pagan goddess (Eostre) worshiped by Anglo Saxons. In the legend, Eostre once saved a bird whose wings had frozen during winter by turning it into a rabbit. Because the rabbit had once been a bird, it could still lay eggs. Eggs were a symbol of fertility in part because they were scarce during the winter. There are records of people giving each other decorated eggs at Easter as far back as the 11th century. We didn’t get chocolate eggs until well after the new world was discovered!
Our current holiday has easter bunnies, egg hunts, chocolate eggs, hats and other fun things for children of all ages. There are lots of books to read on this subject, and many others in our Bookstore!