Explaining Easter to my grandkid

Steve Perkin

Good Friday marks a day on which Jesus died. So why do we celebrate? Why do we call it Easter? Why chocolate eggs and why are they delivered by a rabbit? And why is everything is shut? So many questions from one young grandchild.

Grandpa, why do we celebrate Good Friday?
We don’t really ‘celebrate’. We remember the day Jesus was hung on the cross at Calvary.

But we call it ‘good’. What’s ‘good’ about it?
Nobody really knows. Some people say ‘good’ is an olden-day version of the word ‘holy’.

Does the whole world commemorate Good Friday?
In various forms most Christian countries do, but not many places declare a holiday. Only a quarter of the states in the United States, for example, have a holiday on Good Friday.

Why do we have a holiday?
We commemorate Jesus’s death and then celebrate his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

When he came back to life, where did he go?
Many people believe he went to India and died there years later of old age. Christians believe he went to heaven to sit beside God.

Where did the word ‘Easter’ come from?
That’s also unclear. Some believe it was named after Eostre, a pagan goddess of the Saxon people. Others think it derives from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘oster’, meaning ‘to rise’, or from their term for the spring equinox, Eostre.

So why do we eat eggs?
An egg represents a new life.

But chocolate eggs?
It’s pretty hard making an egg out of something else, I suppose. Some countries, Russia for example, celebrate with real eggs which they paint. You might see people with Greek heritage playing games with red eggs. Red represents the victory of life over death, or, as others say, the blood of Christ.

And why does the Easter bunny deliver my eggs? Because they’re cute and fluffy and won’t eat the eggs, like a Tassie devil would?
One theory is that the symbol of the rabbit stems from pagan tradition, specifically the festival of Eostre – that word again – a goddess of fertility whose animal symbol was a bunny, because … bunnies are great breeders.

Are the Greeks having a holiday?
They will, but their Easter changes dates. This year, they will celebrate on Sunday, 8 April.

Have you hidden my egg yet?
Look under the lavender bush.

Do you have a family tradition at Easter?

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