Easter falls in the spring, the yearly time of renewal, when the earth renews itself after a long, cold winter. The word „Easter” is named after Eastre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. A festival was held in her honor every year at the vernal equinox. The meaning of the many different customs observed during Easter Sunday have been buried with time. Nowadays, people celebrate Easter according to their beliefs and their religious denominations.
Easter Symbols: One of the oldest spring symbols in the world is the Egg. The oval shape of the egg is the same shape for a raindrop and a seed, these two were important life-giving elements. The egg itself promises new life as in spring, birds and many other animals are hatched from eggs. Originally Easter eggs were painted with bright colours representing the sunlight of spring. InEngland, members of the royal families gave each other gold-covered eggs as Easter gifts in the Middle Ages. Nowadays the eggs are given to children as Easter presents along with other gifts. They are usually eaten after an egg-tapping competition.
Easter Bunny. On Easter Sunday, many children wake up to find that the Easter Bunny has left them baskets of candy. He has also hidden the eggs that they decorated earlier that week. Children hunt for the eggs all around the house. Neighborhoods and organizations hold Easter egg hunts, and the child who finds the most eggs wins a prize. The Easter Bunny is a rabbit-spirit. Long ago, he was called the „Easter Hare„, hares and rabbits have frequent multiple births so they became a symbol of fertility. The custom of an Easter egg hunt began because children believed that hares laid eggs in the grass. The Romans believed that „All life comes from an egg” ,Christians consider eggs to be „the seed of life” etc. Other Easter symbols: (The Lamb, the lily, the cross, the candle)
Easter in Romania. In Romania, Easter is celebrated according to the rituals of the Orthodox Church. At the Easter Resurrection Mass, just before midnight, the priest comes out of the church to give blessings; he also gives people holy bread and provide the flame from which everyone will light their candles. Everyone tries to keep the flame alive until they arrive home. After the Lent, tables, are full with all sorts of good dishes and brightened up with beautiful coloured eggs, all these contribute to a festive atmosphere in Romanian homes. On Easter, Romanians eat roast lamb and broth, spiced minced lamb and fresh cottage cheese. Our wishes for you:
„May the gifts of Easter/Cause you much delight,
And the Sun of Easter/Make your pathway bright!”