By: Leanna Gubbels
Have you ever thought about how difficult it would be to celebrate Easter without the influence of agriculture? Even though the Christian holiday of Easter is now more commercialized, it began as being very religious and involved a variety of agricultural resources to make such a feast possible.
When one thinks of Easter, how can you forget about Easter eggs? Eggs became an important part of Easter since people were fascinated how something so alive could emerge from something that appeared to be dead (just as Jesus rose from the tomb according to Christian belief.) For this reason, eggs were given as gifts, collected for Easter feasts, and shared with the less-fortunate. The tradition of coloring eggs also is thanks to agriculture since the dyes came from vegetables. These decorated eggs held symbolic and religious meanings to those who made and received them.
The lamb is a symbol of Jesus who, according to Christian belief, was risen from the dead on Easter. This is how the lamb became a traditional Easter meal in ancient times. The more common meal that can be found at an Easter meal is that of some sort of pork dish. Pork is a symbol of good luck and prosperity. This is why people put money into a “piggy-bank” and in Europe, charms of pigs are worn for luck (shamrocks don’t receive all the credit.)
At my family’s Easter gatherings, we always have scalloped potatoes and ham or honey glazed pork roast. We look forward to these meals almost as much as the Easter egg hunt (with eggs from our own chickens-brown ones can be harder to dye.) One thing that makes it even more special was that it was usually pork from a pig we raised right here on our farm so our entire family got together before Easter to butcher and prepare the meat. Completed our entrees with home-grown vegetables makes all the food so much better knowing that your hard work from the past year could amount to something so wonderful and delicious that brings so many people together. So as you get ready to celebrate Easter this year, thank a farmer for all that he or she has provided you with to bring your family together for such a beautiful holiday.