Rabbits and eggs – now how did that happen?
Easter traditions and symbols have evolved over time and are developments of traditions that have been around for centuries.
For Christians, Easter is all about the resurrection of Christ, yet one of the most prominent symbols of the holiday is the Easter bunny.
Though there is no mention of a long-eared rabbit delivering decorated eggs to children on Easter Sunday in the bible, it’s certainly now the commercial brand for the high street version of the festival.
The exact origins of this mythical creature is unclear, but rabbits are known to be prolific procreators and are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life.
German stories of an egg-laying hare and the decoration of eggs are believed to date back to at least the 13th century, when children made nests in which it could lay its coloured eggs.
Eventually, the fabled rabbit’s Easter deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced the nests.
Easter eggs though are likely linked to pagan traditions.
The egg is an ancient symbol of new life, which has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. As eggs were a forbidden food during the season of Lent, people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of penance and fasting, then eat them at Easter to celebrate.
This Easter weekend on Lantau, there will no doubt be many a chocolate egg eaten by the happy kids of the island.
Several of these will come by way of reward, for the lucky egg trackers at the various Easter Egg Hunts being arranged across the island. Such as those taking place at Lower Cheung Sha, courtesy of Bathers Restaurant, the Discovery Bay Virtual Egg Hunt or even the Easter egg-stravaganza at the Sheraton Hotel in Tung Chung.
So plenty to choose from and no doubt a few more local hunts, we have not quite, er well, manged to hunt down…
The custom of the Easter egg hunting though is not a modern invention as you might expect.
It is suggested that its origins date back to the late 16th century, when the Protestant reformer Martin Luther organised egg hunts for his congregation. The men would hide the eggs for the women and children to find.
This was a nod to the story of the resurrection, in which the empty tomb was discovered by women.
Regardless, which ever approach you have to this particular holiday break, have a good one and Happy Easter from the Lantau Network!
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