Holidays Easter, a family celebration of life By Aaron April 8, 2009 Share Share Copy Link Easter is an important event on the religious and Western calendar. After Christmas, it’s the tradition that most people in the world celebrate. It is a time for religious commemorations as well as a celebration rooted in cultural traditions, but regardless of its meaning, the backdrop is families reuniting. Families use the occasion to get together to share their customs or pass their religious beliefs on to younger generations. The celebrations happen around nice and colorful symbols that engage children; they enjoy the occasion with chocolate bunnies and eggs. In times like these you can make the most of MyHeritage, and here’s how: * Easily contact your whole family to send your best wishes. * Create and invite people to an Easter event. * Share your traditional Easter family recipes. * Upload the photos or videos from your family Easter event and share them. * Keep this content as a record, telling your family history in the years to come. It can be hard work finding the long lost relatives of your past, but it’s really easy to save and treasure every present moment of your family for the generations to come. This Easter is a great time to start doing it. But what is it about all those bunnies and eggs? All the religious and cultural celebrations related to Easter have the same concept: rebirth. Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and Jews have the festival of Passover (Pesach), which marks the time when God rescued the people of Israel from slavery and Moses led them out of Egypt. These two events revolve around the idea of rebirth: Jesus is resurrected, or born again, and the slaves are reborn into freedom. But the modern celebration of Easter also includes symbols from cultural traditions held for many centuries up to the present, the ones that have to do with bunnies and eggs, which are symbols of fertility and birth. The earliest humans noticed the link between the cycles of women that were linked with the birth of children and the cycles of the moon. For ancient civilizations in Asia, the hare was the symbol of the moon. So it followed that the moon and the rabbit both became the symbol of rebirth or life after death. Later, the Celts and other early European groups celebrated the festival of Eostre, a goddess of the dawn associated with springtime. This goddess’ symbol was the rabbit, the most fertile animal and a symbol of new life. During the Middle Ages, the rabbit also became associated with chicken eggs, since both were symbols of fertility and rebirth in the spring. The Easter Bunny as a holiday symbol delivering candy and eggs is thought to have started around the 1600s in Germany, where the first edible Easter pastry bunnies appeared. The celebrations as we know them today are that, although some differences exist among some countries, the Easter Bunny brings baskets filled with colored eggs, candy and toys to the children on the night before Easter. The Easter Bunny will either put the baskets in a designated place or hide them somewhere in the house for the children to find when they wake up in the morning. So no matter if it has a root in religious belief or in continuing the symbolic and colorful springtime tradition, Easter is a time to celebrate life, and that is a fantastic reason to bring families together.