What Are The Familiar Symbols Of Easter?

By: Jullienne Queen


Like many holidays, Easter has a lot of symbols, Easter Symbols, that stand for the various elements of the holiday and its underlying history. Because Easter is associated with spring, Passover, Palm Sunday and Lent, symbols for those days have a lot to do with Easter too.

Before a discussion of Easter symbols it's important to understand how other holidays and seasons relate to Easter. Easter for a long time was placed on the calendar according to when Jewish scholars placed Passover based on lunar and solar cycles. According to the Gospels Jesus and the Disciples gathered for the Last Supper as a Passover Feast. Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus entry into Jerusalem just before the events surrounding his death and rebirth. Lent is a time that proceeds Easter and gets people ready for that season.

Now let's examine some Easter symbols.

Young animals, such as chicks, represent new life, as do eggs they are common Easter symbols. Eggs are a strong symbol of spring, and have been for generations. Jesus' tomb is also associated with eggs, something from which he had to escape into new life. Eggs are like tombs from which the chicks emerge into life.

The ancient world saw the rabbit as a symbol of new life, so it's natural it would be one of the Easter symbols that represent life.
Jesus was pure just as Lilies are pure white, so they became Easter symbols. Also lilies come out of the ground at spring just as Jesus rose from the tomb.

As Easter symbols lambs relate to Jesus being the Lamb of God.

Other powerful Easter symbols are crosses which remind people how Christ overcame death.

Palm branches are associated with Palm Sunday, and are thus Easter symbols, as they remind people of Jesus' return to Jerusalem with people waving palms to greet him.

People wear new hats and new clothes at Easter, as Easter symbols, as reminders of the new life and resurrection

The cross is one of the Easter symbols, and it appears on hot cross buns, again to denote the crucifixion and Jesus' defeating death.

Jesus was known as the light of the world, so candles are strong Easter symbols.

Pretzels, shaped like praying hands, are Easter symbols in that they are eaten at Lent leading up to Easter.

Jesus's whole life is represented by Easter symbols that are butterflies. (They begin as caterpillars, symbolizing Jesus' time on Earth|As caterpillars they stand for Christ's earthly life|They crawl around as caterpillars just as Jesus walked the Earth}}}. Then they become butterflies after spending time in a cocoon, which is parallel to Jesus time in the tomb before eventually emerging to return to heaven.

For more on the interesting subject of Easter symbols, try a Google search.

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