If you celebrated Easter today, maybe you participated in Easter egg hunts. If so, you can thank Eastre (AKA Eostre) for that tradition. According to The Dictionary of Ancient Deities, she was the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the spring, protectress of fertility, goddess of rebirth and friend to children. In that last persona, she’d change her pet bird to a rabbit who’d bring forth brightly colored eggs that she’d give as gifts to children.
No word on how the bird felt about being thus changed and/or why Eastre couldn’t just find and train a rabbit to hand over some already hatched, dyed and decorated eggs.
And speaking of Easter eggs, the Easter Sunday 1984 Berry’s World comic strip depicted a great scene. In a courtroom, we have eggs as judge, jury, spectators and lawyers, along with a rabbit as defendant. A brightly colored egg sits at the prosecution table and the prosecutor is telling the jury that he’ll prove the defendant did “hard boil, dye, decorate and later hide my client.”
Copyright 2016, Patrick Keating.