Easter is a big cultural holiday in America. Most children have the opportunity to go to an egg hunt, get a basket of goodies from the Easter Bunny, or see trees covered in plastic eggs while driving down the street. But, what are the origins of the holiday? Easter Sunday, celebrated in Christian churches, celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Some churches choose to refer to the holiday as Resurrection Day because of the pagan origins of some Easter celebrations.
For those interested in learning about the cultural traditions, here are some children’s books to read aloud:
- The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story, Mike and Jan Berenstain
- Fancy Nancy’s Elegant Easter, Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser
- God Gave Us Easter, Lisa Tawn Bergren and Laura J. Bryant
- What is Easter, Michelle Medlock Adams and Amy Wummer
Of course, even children who are not being raised in a Christian religious tradition can benefit by learning about the customs and the history behind the holiday. Easter also links to Passover in the Jewish calendar due to timing and some similar symbolism. In addition, there are plenty of links with Egyptian, Greek, and Roman stories as well.