Smart Living The Fascinating, Fantastical History of the Easter Basket

00:36  13 march  2018
00:36  13 march  2018 Source:   Southern Living

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  The Fascinating, Fantastical History of the Easter Basket © Vstock LLC/Getty Images These days, baskets overflowing with candy and colorful eggs are as synonymous with Easter as Christmas trees are with Christmas. But marshmallow Peeps were just a twinkle in some brilliant businessman’s eye when Christians began celebrating Jesus’s resurrection centuries ago. Piles of candy and dyed eggs are a decidedly modern phenomenon. As for how they became associated with Easter, we have the Germans to thank.

Related gallery: 10 Fun, Homemade Easter Basket Ideas the Whole Family Will Love.Provided by Reader's DigestTreat cartons: <p><a href=''>The Crafting Chicks</a> offer an ingenious way to recycle egg cartons in this Easter basket idea. Pour candies straight into carton cups (opened plastic eggs contain smaller sweets) and close the lid. Kids will love opening it up to find their surprise. Try these other <a href=''>Easter basket ideas for every type of personality</a>.</p> 10 Fun, Homemade Easter Basket Ideas the Whole Family Will Love

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Theories abound, but most experts agree that the word Easter derives from Eostre, a pagan goddess of spring and fertility.

“Many scholars believe that Easter had its origins as an early Anglo-Saxon festival that celebrated the goddess Eostre, and the coming of spring, in a sense a resurrection of nature after winter,” Carole Levin, Professor of History and Director of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program at the University of Nebraska, told Time. “Eggs were part of the celebration of Eostre. Apparently eggs were eaten at the festival and also possibly buried in the ground to encourage fertility.”

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According to Anglo-Saxon folklore, Eostre found a bird dying from the cold and transformed it into a rabbit so its fur would keep it warm—but that rabbit still laid eggs like a bird.

This is where the baskets come in. Sometime around the early 1600s, German Protestants began believed (or simply telling their children) that a hare—a popular pagan symbol of fertility and springtime—would place colored eggs in improvised “nests”—bonnets, hats, baskets, etc.—they would leave out overnight. According to Chowhound, Osterhase (or Easter Hare) would lay the eggs, but only for well-behaved children.

Pennsylvania Dutch settlers later brought the tradition to America, where its popularity exploded during the Victorian era. Eventually, the Osterhase or Oschter Haws became the Easter Bunny, and the baskets became receptacles for candy, toys and plastic eggs that we so enjoy.

Related video: How to Make a Living Easter Basket. Provided by Hallmark Channel

Airlines cancel flights as another winter storm nears .
American Airlines calls off flights from Boston's Logan airport tomorrow ahead of the storm.

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