I believe that there is a great power that lies in celebrating events like birthdays and religious festivals. They contain a power that can transform, if one celebrates them with awareness and appreciation of their deeper meaning.
Christianity claims the Easter egg as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Just as the chick hatches from its shell, the risen Christ emerges from the empty tomb.
“The hard shell of the egg symbolizes the sealed tomb — the cracking, his resurrection,” said the Rev. Tom Williams, pastor of St. John the Theologian Orthodox Church in Rapid City.
Eggs were used as symbols for nature’s annual rebirth by various societies for centuries before Christ.
Some say the word Easter is derived from Eostre (also known as Ostara), an ancient Anglo-Saxon Goddess. She symbolized the rebirth of the day at dawn and the rebirth of life in the spring. The arrival of spring was celebrated all over the world long before the religious meaning became associated with Easter.
The egg and hare(bunny) were symbols of Ostara representing fertility and new life in the Spring.
The date of Easter is determined by the first full moon occurring in Spring in the northern hemisphere; it can fall as early as March 22 or as late as April 25. This means that Easter isn’t celebrated at a set date each year, but is a movable festival, determined by a particular constellation of the stars which, according to Rudolf Steiner, “unites earth and man with the worlds beyond the earth”.
The following is an excerpt of a lecture he gave at Easter, 1920 in Dornach, Switzerland:
“The only possible way in these days for man to unite a right feeling with Easter is for him to direct his thought in this connection to the world-catastrophe of his own time. For in very deed a world-catastrophe is upon us. I do not mean merely the catastrophe that happened in the recent years of the war, but I refer to that world-catastrophe which consists in the fact that men have lost all idea of the connection of the earthly with that which is beyond the earth. The time has come when man must realise with full and clear consciousness that supersensible knowledge has now to arise out of the grave of the materialistic outlook. For together with supersensible knowledge will arise the knowledge of Christ Jesus.
In point of fact, man has no other symbol that fits the Easter festival than this — that mankind has brought upon itself the doom of being crucified upon the cross of its own materialism. At bottom, it is arrogance and pride that find expression in the materialistic view of the world. It is human pride, manifesting in a strange way!
But man must do something himself before there arises from the grave of human materialism all that can come from supersensible knowledge.
The very striving after supersensible knowledge is itself an Easter deed, it is something which gives man the right once more to keep Easter. Look up to the full moon and feel how the full moon is connected with man in its phenomena, and how the reflection of the sun is connected with the moon, and then meditate on the need today to go in search of a true self-knowledge which can show forth man as a reflection of the supersensible. If man knows himself to be a reflection of the supersensible, if he recognises how he is formed and constituted out of the supersensible, then he will also find the way to come to the supersensible.”
Easter is the spirit of rebirth, of continual life, of the love and the message of Jesus that means much more than whether any of the Bible story around Easter is historically true or not.
The true meaning of Easter? Find it within and celebrate it! Celebrate all expressions of joy, new life and spiritual growth however they manifest. Even if Easter has no meaning to you at all.. just another day. Another day is the most beautiful of miracles. Celebrate every minute of it however you feel called to, and allow and rejoice in others however they feel called to celebrate theirs!
Have a beautiful, relaxing and meaningful Easter weekend:)