The Easter Bunny, Easter eggs, and multi-colored candy tend to conjure up colorful images for many people. But where do those traditions come from? Our Andrew Sorensen set out this Easter weekend to find out.
UTICA, N.Y. -- One of the most colorful holidays of the year seems to have two sides.
For some, they're about easter egg hunts and the Easter Bunny. But for Rev. John Buehler, it's a different story.
"Easter of course, is our biggest feast. without Easter, there would be no Christianity," he said, leading up to this weekend's Easter services.
But some in the Church say the Easter Bunny, his eggs and the celebration of Christ rising from the dead are closer in origin than you might think.
"Pope Gregory the Great, asked people not to eat eggs during the season of Lent, and therefore they became a great delicacy on Easter."
Rev. Buehler says people painted them different colors to symbolize different things, like red for Christ's blood, and green for the fields.
Part of the reason Easter caught on so well is that non-Christians were already celebrating it to some extent.
In an effort to connect with pagans, missionaries associated their feast of Jesus rising from the dead, with a pagan fertility feast.
Rabbits were a part of those feasts, being a symbol of fertility for the pagans, and innocence for the Christians, bringing the Easter Bunny into the picture in Medieval Germany.
"It was a magical rabbit that had colored Easter eggs for the children if they were good during Lent," Rev. Buehler said.
In some ways, the Christian holiday is also about fertility in rebirth.
"All these flowers are symbols of the fact that spring here, and there's new life, and nothing is more important than the new life of Jesus Christ," he explained.
If you're celebrating with Jesus, the Easter Bunny, or both, just remember to enjoy the colors of the season.