Easter Egg Hunts on The Jersey Shore this Weekend
Many Easter traditions have been around for centuries. The most prominent secular symbol of the Christian holiday, the Easter bunny reportedly was introduced in Pennsylvania by German immigrants who brought over their stories of an egg-laying hare. The decoration of eggs is believed to date back to at least the 13th century, while the rite of the Easter parade has even older roots. Other traditions, such as the consumption of Easter candy, are among the modern additions to the celebration of this early springtime holiday.
On Friday at the Stafford Township Municipal Building, 260 East Bay Ave. in Manahawkin, there’s an egg hunt from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., plus activities ranging from photos with Bunny, face painting and sand art to train rides and inflatables. Funnel cakes, homemade chocolates and food from Shore Fire Grill are on the menu.
Saturday: Long Beach Township PBA #373 and the Where Angels Play Foundation will host the Where Angels Play Foundation Easter Egg Hunt at Lauren Rousseau’s Playground, located at 6800 Long Beach Blvd. in Brant Beach. The event is free and open to the public. Participants should bring their own baskets for the egg hunt, which begins at 10 a.m.
Breakfast with the Easter Bunny at the Surf City Firehouse, located at 713 North Long Beach Blvd., will include all-you-can-eat pancakes as well as sausage, orange juice, coffee, tea, milk and hot cocoa. Takeout is available. Breakfast is from 8 a.m. to noon and costs $9 for adults and $5 for children.
In Barnegat Light, there’s bunny action at the 10th Street recreational area at 10 a.m., with prizes awarded to children in several age groups. The rain date is Monday, March 28, at 10 a.m.
The Barnegat-Waretown Chamber of Commerce and Serpico’s Ristorante sponsor an Easter Egg Hunt at the Gazebo Park, Route 9 and East Bay Avenue in Barnegat, beginning at 11 a.m. The event also includes face painting, balloon animals, games and the Barnegat Police Department’s child ID program from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The tradition of painting hard-boiled eggs during springtime pre-dates Christianity. In many cultures around the world, the egg is a symbol of new life, fertility and rebirth. For thousands of years, Iranians and others have decorated eggs on Nowruz, the Iranian New Year that falls on the spring equinox.
Some claim that the Easter egg has pagan roots. Even the word Easter is said to have to come to us from the “Norsemen’s Eostur, Eastar, Ostara, and Ostar, and the pagan goddess Eostre, all of which involve the season of the growing sun and new birth”
For Christians, the Easter egg is symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Painting Easter eggs is an especially beloved tradition in the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches where the eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross. Easter eggs are blessed by the priest at the end of the Paschal vigil and distributed to the congregants. The hard shell of the egg represents the sealed Tomb of Christ, and cracking the shell represents Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Moreover, historically Christians would abstain from eating eggs and meat during Lent, and Easter was the first chance to eat eggs after a long period of abstinence. (Orthodox Christians continue to abstain from eggs during Lent.)
In case you were wondering, the white Easter lily has come to capture the glory of the holiday. The word "Easter" is named after Eastre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. A festival was held in her honor every year at the vernal equinox.
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