Eggs are one of the most recognized symbols of Easter. Since ancient times, rabbits and eggs have been associated with rebirth and new life. In Germany, children would make nests for the egg-laying hare, Osterhase, to lay her eggs in.
In America, German immigrants brought their Osterhase tradition to Pennsylvania in the 1700s. The beloved Easter egg hunt tradition began soon after, and it spread throughout the country. Baskets replaced nests and the game evolved into a treasure hunt. Prizes included chocolate, candy, toys and coins.
Easter is just around the corner and - with this holiday - we welcome Spring and the rebirth of new life.
It’s a great time of year to celebrate your family lineage with the younger generations.
Try some of these do-it-yourself crafts to celebrate both the holiday and your heritage. They are sure to be fun for kids and adults alike:
- Create a family tree centerpiece out of eggs:
The Easter bunny is a prominent symbol of the holiday, although the furry creature is not mentioned in the Bible.
While the bunny's exact origin is unknown, rabbits are frequently used as a symbol of fertility and new life. According to some, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania. They brought the tradition of an egg-laying hare called Osterhase.
The tradition continued with children waking up Easter Sunday morning to find that the Easter Bunny had hidden decorated eggs for them to find.
The Easter Egg Hunt, as it is known today, is a fun family activity where children hunt for the decorated eggs indoors and outdoors to win a prize. Whomever finds the most eggs wins a prize including baskets of candies or chocolates.
We asked the MyHeritage international community managers to describe how the holiday is celebrated in their own countries, with a focus on the family aspects.
How do you celebrate Easter as a family? Please share with us in the comments below.
For over 45 years now, the Monday after Easter has been known as Dyngus Day in Buffalo, N.Y. It's a post-Lent day of polka dancing, beer, Polish sausages and yes, love -- with a few unusual courting rituals that make the day an ideal occasion to meet your soul mate.
Dyngus Day likely began in Poland, though it is said to be celebrated in neighboring countries, such as Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, so it's unclear exactly where the custom or name originates. The story goes something like this: men or boys carried water from house to house to sprinkle - or in some cases drench - the girl(s) they fancied. The girls smack the boys with pussy-willow branches if they share their affections. And while this exchange doesn't seem like it would lead to love and marriage, there are many stories of true love found on this day.
Just in time for this year's Easter weekend, we're rounding up fun Easter facts and traditions from around the world. Ever wonder where the first chocolate eggs were made? Or the history of the Easter Bunny? Or why Australians have campaigned to replace the traditional bunny with a bilby?
Here are a few fun Easter facts:
• Over 90 million chocolate Easter bunnies are made each year.
• 76% percent of people eat the ears on chocolate bunnies first.
• According to the Guinness Book of World Records the largest Easter egg ever made was just over 25-feet high and made of chocolate and marshmallow. The egg weighed 8,968 lbs. and was supported by an internal steel frame.
• Americans buy more than 700 million Peeps - making Peeps the most popular non-chocolate Easter candy.
• 16 billion jelly beans are made specifically for Easter - enough to fill a plastic egg the size of a 9-story building.
• An estimated 80% of parents carry on the tradition of the Easter Bunny by preparing a surprise Easter basket filled with goodies for their children and around 90% of adults hope for their own Easter treat.