Symbols of Easter

                                                 

©MSLehmann2001 -  2010

  

 

 

 

The egg symbolizes the coming of new life. 

The tradition of decorating eggs decends from ancient Egypt. In Eastern Europe, in particular, they have develloped a very high skill in decorating eggs.

 

 

 

 

Chicken is a symbol of new life.  The little chiken braking out of his shell is also used as a symbol of Jesus breaking out of the grave.

It is mostly in the nordic countries chickens are used as an Easter decoration. In south of Europe it's mainly the Easter Bunny who's the dominating decoration object.

 

The Easter Hare is not a new symbol, but was the Earthly symbol for the ancient celt godess Astrarte (Eastre). It was also a symbol of fertility.

The Easter Bunny is a thypical "American" rabbit. In Europe it's usually a more natural hare or rabbit, even if it's "modernised" such as this Dutch one.

The chokolate industry has "adopted" Easter eggs and Easter Bunnies made of chokolate.

 

 

The people were waving palm leafs when Jesus rode in to Jerusalem. This was the traditional way of greeting kings. 

Palmleafs is the symbol of victory and is much used in the Mediterranean countries for Easter decorations.

 

 

"Gooskids" - is used in Norway as a substitute for palmleafs, who don't grow so far north.

This is the very first sign of springtime in Norway

 

 

 

 

 

Christianity describes Jesus as "The lamb of God"

The lamb is also a symbol for a new, innocent life.

The Jews sacrificed a lamb for the old Easter celebration. This tadition is still active - both with Jews and the Greek-Orthodox church.

Roasted lamb is still the traditional Easter dinner in a lot of countries.

 

 

The white lilly symbolize a pure life. This is the traditional Easter flower both in Europe and the USA.

Because this lilly is not available in Norway, the yellow Narciss have become our "Easter flower".

 

    

 

 

Blue dots ( for instance on decorated Easter eggs) symbolizes virgin Mary's tears at the crucifixion. 

 

 

Corn and straw were regarded as sacred items.

In the middle- and south of Europe  wreaths of straw are often decorated for Easter. 

It's a common material for a lot of Easter decorations.

 

 

The butterfly symbolizes the human cycle of life.

 

 

 

 

 

The Sun is symbolizing the power of life.

In pre Christian time both the Celts and the Vikings celebrated a sunfeast in the springtime. The Christian church turned this ancient feast into the celebration of the resurrection of Christ during Easter. 

 This symbol decends from the ancient greek language. The wors "fish" in greek is ICHTHYS. The letters represent ;  Iesous - CHristos THeou - hYios - Soter. This can be translated into "Jesus Christ Gods Son Saviour". The first Christian people drew this sign in the sand etc. to give a signal to others that they believed in Jesus Christ.

 

 

The Crusifix - Jesus with bended head, nailed to the cross - symbolizes the suffering.

 

 

The empty cross symbolizes the resurrection.

Yellow is the "Easter colour" in nothern Europe. It's the colour of the sun and sybolizes often by yellow Easter chickens and yellow flowers ; Narcisses and Forsythia. We decorate with a yellow tablecloth, yellow candles and napkins.

In the  USA the Easter colour is pink - on everything from candies to Easter Bunnies.

Violet is the colour of penance - and the liturg colour for lent.

White symbolizes purety and is the liturg colour for celebration.

Green is the symbol of life and growth.

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