So this nice guy gets arrested, beaten up, forced on a march where he is yelled at and has things thrown at him, and then is sent to die by being nailed to a cross until his chest muscles give out and he slowly suffocates. Never one to waste an opportunity, he saves the soul of the guy next to him before he dies.
Then three days later he rises from the dead to show everyone that he is indeed the son of God and has defeated death. Christianity is born.
This miracle is celebrated by coloring eggs, hiding them, and having little children run to find them. There's lots of candy eaten, often in the shape of a rabbit. Branches from a pussy willow tree are put in a vase and little wooden eggs are hung from them as decoration. In Poland, there are contests where one person hits the egg of another person and the one whose egg is not broken is the winner.
The truth is Easter is the combination of a pagan holiday for the Saxon goddess Eastre and the Christian commemoration of Christ's resurrection, which explains some of the disconnect between how we celebrate the holiday and what is alleged to have happened on that day two thousand years ago.
What does this all mean? The roots of Easter are the celebration of rebirth and revival, explaining the whole egg thing as it relates to fertility. The Easter bunny could - only a guess - relate because rabbits are very fertile. Again, referring to birth and rebirth.
The plastic grass is a little harder to tie in, but let's just call it a reminder that we are killing Mother Earth with pollution.
What I take from this holiday - which I celebrated as a young child but no longer do - is the message that every year we get another chance to get it right. And that no matter how bad we've screwed it up, there's always hope. After all, it's Easter!
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