“Aren’t we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas?
You know, the birth of Santa.”
– Bart Simpson
“So what happened on Easter Sunday anyway?”
So asked my son Sam over the weekend.
At his age, Easter was drilled into me as a 13 year old Irish Catholic boy and I’m now wondering what exactly do they teach when it comes to religion in his school… 🙂
Truth be told, Easter was a week I dreaded at Sam’s age.
At its worst we had to go to mass/church every day for 7 days. Throw in altar boy requirements and it was a week like no other. Loooooonnnnnnnnng, slow and tedious.
Clearly, and thankfully times have changed.
But on one level it almost seems a pity that for many Easter has lost the symbolism that it has at it’s core.
Before Christianity arrived in Ireland, the Celts were pagans and revered nature. The pagan spring festival for the goddess ‘Eostre’, goddess of fertility, is considered by many the origins of the traditions that surround the Christian Easter.
Eostre’s symbol was a rabbit, or hare, and she represented the spring or dawn. When the Catholic church set about converting the pagans of Northern Europe, they co-opted the symbols of Eostre including the name, to their holy day marking the crucifixion of Christ, which fell around the same time.
Pagan sunrise celebrations, hares and eggs all found their place in the Christian Easter quite conveniently.
Understandably Sam has no interest in the above or in my explanation’s about Jesus’s resurrection (cue eyes glazing over). For him, as it was for me at his age, it’s really only about one thing:
How many easter eggs am I going to get?
At the age I’m at now though (just a few years older than Sam…) Easter has become an opportunity to consider themes like re-invention, renewal and re-connection with nature and something higher. It’s an opportunity to consider shedding the skin of the old, and giving birth to the next version of myself.
And with that in mind, here’s a question to ponder this week:
How might I re-invent myself for the coming months?
Sam has no interest in considering that question either but I’m hoping it might be of more interest to you. 🙂
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