The Dad decided that instead of merely hiding eggs around the house this year, he was going to write clues as to where they were hidden, so that he could hide them in much more devious places. With rhymes, riddles and a few TV/movie references, he had The Boy scratching his head for about 3/4 of an hour.
We had lots of laughs writing secret saying on our eggs before dipping them into the colored water. The Dad had, by far, the most original comments and had The Boy giggling most of the evening.
The Boy wanted to know why people use eggs and bunnies because it didn’t seem to logically go “with all that Jesus nailed on a cross and empty cave stuff”. Pretty bright question, if you ask me. So we talked about the winter, spring, summer and fall festivals that celebrate the circle of the year, the fears of early societies and how they gave thanks for the simple things, which we unfortunately sometimes now take for granted. Ancient things like: that the sun would return even though the winter days got longer, that the earth would warm itself sufficiently to allow the plants and baby animals grow, that the rain would come to water plants and animals alike and, ultimately, their thankfulness at having had enough food to eat, enough water to drink and enough daylight for hunting and gathering.
That led into how early followers of Jesus had a hard time convincing people to give up their spring rebirth festivals and celebrations, so they simply re-worked and re-fashioned these same traditions to fit their own Christian beliefs (thereby the local non-Christians could keep their festivals while also becoming Christians). Eggs, chicks and bunnies naturally remind us of new life, of re-birth. Christians believe they are “born again” because of their belief that Jesus rose from the dead. So…since, to non-Christians, eggs represented new life, Jesus could now equal new life.
The Boy said, “Hmm. What other festivals did the Christians do this to?”
So that led to a talk about how Christmas was placed around the winter solstice, Thanksgiving was (originally) placed around the time of the harvest festivals (before it became little more than a carb-loaded opening to yet another season of excessive shopping and debt), and All Saints Day and All Soul’s Day were created to co-coincide with (and hopefully replace) the Celtic tradition of All Hallows Eve. Pretty interesting stuff. Who ever said history was boring?