Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Equinox

So the spring (vernal) equinox was last week and I find it just fascinating to read about ancient practices and such to commemorate the change of season.

This is a pretty comprehensive overview of why we dye eggs and why the Easter bunny comes.  I knew a little about the eggs being dyed in ancient times but had no idea where he term "Easter" came from - who knew it was the pagan Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, Eastre?  I needed to bone up on a few things since the kids ask about them at the most random times.  Egg roll anyone?  What a silly thing to do with kids, but I guess it was a sign of the times.

I've just always had an interest in uncovering the history behind the rituals we participate in without really thinking.  I took a lot of ancient history and religious history classes in college and I think it just piqued my interest in looking at things from a different perspective.  I remember a few years ago when my friend at work, who is an Orthodox Jew and full of the most random religious history you could imagine, taught me about how the date of Easter is determined each year.  (It falls on the first Sunday after a full moon after the vernal equinox.)  Such a complicated formula that most of us have probably never given thought to.  Now to figure out where the fashion of those big, outlandish Easter hats comes from.......

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