Nathan (vovat) wrote,

Here comes the Easter Rabbit, hooray, hooray

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it. Well, unless you're Eastern Orthodox, in which case I'll wish you a happy Palm Sunday, and a happy Cosmonautics Day. To all the rest of you, just have a good day in general, okay?

Yesterday, bethje and I went up to Hoboken to visit our friends therealtavie and Gina. Also visiting them were Stephanie and her rat terrier Adrian. After dyeing eggs, we had an Easter dinner made up of ham, beef brisket, deviled eggs, peas [1], potato salad, challah bread (which, ironically, orthodox Jews COULDN'T have eaten yesterday), and baked beans. Being a fussy eater, I didn't partake of all these things, but I quite liked the ones of which I did. We also participated in Tavie and Gina's Easter tradition of watching the Mr. Show "Jeepers Creepers Semi-Star" sketch, and their cat Spike took a swat at me and hissed. He has some serious mood swings. I had a lot of fun. It's a shame that our closest local friends live a hundred miles away, though. :(

Since I still owe you faithful readers a mythology post from yesterday, and I often like to do holiday posts anyway, I did a bit of quick research on the origins of the Easter Bunny. Apparently the first known mentions of a rabbit delivering eggs come from sixteenth-century Germany, and Pennsylvania Dutch settlers brought the idea to America in the eighteenth century. But the idea of the rabbit being a symbol of fertility and spring dates back to long before that, and some sources say that the rabbit was closely associated with the goddess Eostre in ancient Anglo-Saxon paganism. So I guess it's not totally out of the question that, in a way, the Easter Bunny predates Jesus.

The main source for the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre is in the eighth-century works of the Venerable Bede. (See, I told you he'd be showing up again!) In fact, Wikipedia states that Bede was the ONLY source for Eostre, and I haven't done enough research to tell you whether this is accurate. Jacob Grimm proposed the existence of a German equivalent, Ostara. And that name isn't too dissimilar to that of the Semitic goddess Astarte, but then, "Krishna" is also very similar to "Christ." Folk etymologists come up with all kinds of connections between similar words in different languages, but they're not always right. For instance, the land of Edom probably wasn't really named after soup.

I think the earliest legends concerning the Easter Bunny and colored eggs say that the rabbit actually LAID the eggs, sort of like the Cadbury Bunny does with his chocolate ones. That reminds me of a dream I had once (which I think I've already described on my journal, but I'm mentioning it again because it's relevant) in which I was supposed to collect eggs from rabbits, but they got mad and starting attacking me. I seem to have a fair number of dreams about small mammals turning vicious, and I'm not sure what's up with that. On the other hand, Gina and Tavie's cat Spike really DID turn vicious on me the other day.

[1] When I was a kid, my mom decided that, when I said the word "peas," I had to eat some. So even today I can't help but think of it as sort of a Word That Must Not Be Spoken. Not that I really have a problem with peas, mind you.
Tags: dreams, food, holidays, mythology, social events, trips
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