A F.U.N. Easter
The Origin of Easter
  To get to the origin of Easter, we have to go back further than the remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You may have wondered why Easter falls on such a wide range of dates every year. You may not know that Easter always falls upon the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the spring equinox. That means that it can be as early as March 22 or as late as April 25. The reason the date is based upon a lunar calendar is because it's determined by the Jewish holiday Passover.
  Historically, cultures that are mostly agrarian (back when most everyone depended on farming for food) have usually celebrated seasonal holidays that are determined by the equinoxes, solstices, or lunar cycles. Many Jewish holidays began on this seasonal schedule, but later acquired historical meaning from the experiences of the Jewish people.
  However, because Easter is always just after the vernal equinox, it became inextricably bound up with the older spring celebrations of many cultures, not the least of which were the Anglo-Saxons of Britain. A major source for the early history of Britain and the origins of the word "Easter" is the Venerable Bede (673-735 C.E.), a monk who wrote a great deal about Anglo-Saxon mythology and about Easter. According to Bede, Pascha Sunday (the Church holiday celebrating the resurrection of Christ) was called Easter in connection with the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre (also called Ostara). Eostre is the goddess of spring, and she is venerated at the vernal equinox. So it's not surprising that she and her accompanying symbolism were incorporated into the new religion's festival, corresponding as it did so well to the already familiar springtime themes of rebirth, new life, new hope, and light.
  So who is Eostre? And what does she have to do with bunnies? There is little written lore available on Eostre, but the Venerable Bede and Jacob Grimm both affirmed her existence based on folklore and the traditional German Easter festival Ostarun.
  According to legend, she is associated with Spring, as well as with the sunrise. Some of the traditional lore that has been passed down relates the story of Eostre, who saved a bird whose wings were frozen from the harsh winter by turning it into a hare. However, it was a magical hare who could actually lay eggs. In fact, Eostre was nearly always accompanied in legend and art with a hare. It's easy to see the connection between this myth and the story of the Easter Bunny. Also, because rabbits reproduce so rapidly, they are often associated with fertility, so the connection between rabbits, eggs (the means of reproduction for many species) and a goddess of Spring (a time of new life and fertility) rings true for many present-day Pagans who still venerate the old Anglo-Saxon gods and goddesses.
  Is that where the eggs came from? Well, yes and no. Eggs have worldwide associations with rebirth, new life, and fertility - for obvious reasons. So the use of the egg as a symbol of Spring need not be directly connected to the myth of Eostre. The Ukraine has perhaps the most famous Easter eggs, the fabulously decorated pysanky. In Poland, Easter eggs are traditionally blessed by a priest before being shared by family and friends.
  Orthodox Christians dye eggs red, presumably in relation to the blood of the risen Christ. Before eating the eggs, people tap their eggs against one another's; according to custom, the person who cracks the other's egg first will have good luck. In many countries, eggs are exchanged on Easter Sunday, with the greeting "Christ is risen." In Britain, the custom of egg-rolling still persists, and gave rise, beginning with President Madison, to the famous White House egg roll in the U.S. So it's easy to see that eggs have a long history nearly everywhere Easter is celebrated.

Here are F.U.N. things to do in the spirit of Easter! We have coloring pages, games, puzzles and more!
We have some great ideas for coloring your Easter Eggs! Do you have an Egg decorating idea? Post it here!
Lets make some Easter Decorations! Do you have an Easter Craft Idea? Let us know!
Here is an Easter screensaver to decorate your computer!
Lets make this a happy and healthy Easter!
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