How to explain the meaning of Easter to your kids
Not long now until the Easter bunny arrives and as families we will be oohing and aahing over beautiful, foil covered chocolate eggs, bunnies and brightly coloured chickens. With the four day weekend, we may be camping and creating memorable family moments or enjoying a family get together at the beach or maybe a sporting event.
I find it hard to believe that such a wonderful family celebration originated from a cross on a hill….and a man who gave up his life and later rose from the dead. That is really hard to believe. We have no choice but to rely on the stories of the people present at the time but it is the reason why we celebrate Easter today.
And how unreal is it that this event has impacted on our lives for over two thousand years – from the beginning of the Church, to why crucifixes have been an expression of a deep and compassionate love for people. It is also why we eat hot cross buns on Good Friday. The whole season is full of deep and rich symbolism.
Palm Sunday is always celebrated the week before Easter. People used to wave palms to celebrate goodness and victory and Jesus rode on a donkey which is the symbol of peace. What a beautiful story to tell your kids as you prepare for Easter this year!
We eat hot cross buns on Good Friday to remind us that Jesus died on the cross for us. This tradition began over 600 years ago. It is also the reason why there is a cross in every classroom – the cross is the reminder of a deep and compassionate love.
And why call it Good Friday when terrible things happened? Some sources suggest that the day is “good” in that it is holy, or that the phrase is a corruption of “God’s Friday”. Or maybe the person who came up with the term knew that the story had a happy ending as Jesus came back to life two days later :)
And finally how does the Easter bunny get to play a part in all of this? The hare or rabbit’s burrow helped the animal’s adoptions as part of Easter celebrations. Believers saw the rabbit coming out of its underground home as a symbol for Jesus coming out of the tomb. The sharing of eggs is the sign of the resurrection – new life for one and all.
This year as you share the eggs on the holidays gifted by a two thousand year old event, live and act with the love intended for each and everyone of us and make sure that the kids feel the love.
Mary is a Religious Education Adviser at Townsville Catholic Education, she works closely with our schools ensuring that the teaching and learning of Religion and the religious life of the school focus on nurturing the religious, spiritual and faith growth of our students. Mary is an experienced primary school educator who has always had a special interest in the faith development of children and their innate connection with faith and spirituality. Mary likes to challenge children to reflect deeply upon their participation and existence in the world. Mary's interests cross the boundaries of religion, philosophy, theology, literary criticism, devotional literature and story.