Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Easter Eggs, the Easter Bunny and the Cross

I gave a seasonal talk recently. Usually, these are on a Christmas theme, but this time it had Easter as its subject.

The title of this talk was "Easter Eggs, the Easter Bunny and the Cross".

I had been invited to speak by the Elizabethan Club, after lunch at Devonshire Place in Leicester.

It is a sad fact of 21st century life that, although virtually everybody recognises Easter aspects such as the massively successful Easter Egg, a dwindling number realise the religious significance of the period.

I spoke about the pivotal role of Easter in the Christian faith, in which it is the most important festival of the year, far more important than Christmas, and pointed out the central theme of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ at this time. Christians believe that this assures them of Salvation.

I went on to look at folk traditions from many cultures based on Springtime, a time of rebirth and regeneration after the hard times of Winter.

I spoke of the Egg being an obvious symbol of rebirth, and touched on the original role of the Easter Bunny. He was really a hare, a traditional symbol of fertility.

The talk touched on fascinating links with Hot Cross Buns, and traditional events such as the wild football games played at Ashbourne among other places, and the even wilder Bottle Kicking and Hare Pie Scramble at Hallaton.

Then of course there is the pre-Lent tradition of pancakes, with its added tradition of Pancake Races, at Olney for example.

And in Leicester itself, in former years there was the tradition of the Whipping Toms, as well as the Mock Hare Hunt, which involved the terrifying Black Annis.

There is a very wide range of tradition involving Springtime and Rebirth, none of which takes anything away from the central role of Easter in Christianity.

By the way, the lunch was excellent.

Any groups wishing me to give this talk in the Easter period next year are very welcome to get in touch.