This year Lindy and I decided to do an Easter shoot, that brings the real meaning of Easter through our work. This whole idea started with a recipe I am making with my kids since they could get up on the kitchen counter and bake with me. Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb on the third day after his crucifixion. Easter is the fulfilled prophecy of the Messiah who would be persecuted, die for our sins, and rise on the third day. This is quite a mouth full for kids to understand, and with this recipe it explains the crucifixion so beautifully that it is easy for kids to understand. (I got this recipe 15 years ago typed out on a piece of paper, so the author is unknown to me). Easter Story Cookies, Choc Cross Buns.
There are several reasons for the rabbit, or hare, to be associated with Easter, all of which come through pagan celebrations or beliefs. The most obvious is the hare’s fertility. Easter comes during spring and celebrates new life. The Christian meaning of new life through Christ and a general emphasis on new life are different, but the two gradually merged. Any animals – like the hare – that produced many offspring were easy to include. Chocolate Milkshake.
Next to the Easter bunny, the most familiar symbol is the Easter egg. Like others, the egg has a long pre-Christian history. Again there’s no certainty as to why it became associated with Easter. Peanut Butter Mouse.
Many Ancient cultures viewed eggs as a symbol of life. Hindus, Egyptians, Persians, and Phoenicians believed the world begun with an enormous egg. The Persians, Greeks, and Chinese gave gifts of eggs during spring festivals in celebration of new life all around them. Other sources say people ate dyed eggs at spring festivals in Egypt, Persia, Greece, and Rome. In ancient Druid lore, the eggs of serpents were sacred and stood for life.
Early Christians looked at the connection eggs had to life and decided eggs could be a part of their celebration of Christ’s resurrection. In addition, in some areas, eggs were forbidden during Lent; therefore, they were a delicacy at Easter. Since many of the earlier customs were Eastern in origin, some speculate that early missionaries or knights of the Crusade may have been responsible for bringing the tradition to the West.
In the fourth century, people presented eggs in church to be blessed and sprinkled with holy water. By the twelfth century, the Benedictio Ovorum had been introduced authorizing the special use of eggs on the holy days of Easter. The timing of this blessing would uphold the idea that Crusaders may have brought the tradition back. Even though eggs had been used previously, the Crusaders may have made the custom more popular and widespread.
In 1290, Edward I of England recorded a purchase of 450 eggs to be colored or covered with gold leaf. He then gave the eggs to members of the royal household.
Once the custom became accepted, new traditions began to grow up around it. Eggs were dyed red for joy, and in memory of Christ’s blood. Egg rolling contests came to America from England, possibly as a reminder of the stone being rolled away.
What about the familiar Easter Egg hunt? One source suggested that it grew out of the tradition of German children searching for hidden pretzels during the Easter season. Since children were hiding nests for the Easter Bunny to fill with eggs at the same time they were hunting pretzels, it was only a small leap to begin hiding eggs instead.
You can read more about Easter and the meaning and symbols of Easter here:
Floral Design and Styling: Kadou
Photographer: Lindy Kriek
Teepee: Tiny Tailor Teepee Co
Children’s Clothes: Annapatat Kids
Models: Elizna & Jacobus Stofberg (Parent: Beatri Stofberg)