Easter bunny begone: significance of Christian holy season

Alyse Riffer, Reporter

When the season of Lent ends, Christians will celebrate the resurrection of their savior during the eight-week season of Easter. The season ends with Pentecost, which marks the creation of the Christian church.

“We believe that Christ is the light of the world,” said Carmen Roebke, who works at

Carmen Roebke, pastoral associate for Christian formation at the Newman Center. (Courtesy of Carmen Roebke)

the Newman Center as the pastoral associate for Christian formation.

Catholics particularly decorate the church in significant colors and blooming flowers. Clergymen wear decorated vestments specifically for the occasion.

In mass, churchgoers recount the days leading up to the death of Christ through a series of seven readings in the dark.

Roebke said the pinnacle of her career happens every year during the night before Easter, the Easter Vigil, but this year she most looks forward to all three days before Easter which includes the Lord’s Supper and Good Friday.

It becomes harder to celebrate Easter, according to Roebke, when students like sophomore visual communication design major Genevieve Carstensen go home for spring break.

Carstensen said she looks forward to celebrating Easter at her home parish.

“I’m really looking forward to hearing all the grand music during the Easter Vigil mass,” Carstensen said. “And I’m looking forward to eating chocolate and getting to decorate eggs with my family.”

Carstensen said the tradition of egg decorating can be dated back to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Now, eastern European countries heavily partake in this activity.

Christians may also celebrate Easter by hiding baskets full of goodies.

Carstensen said her family searches for hidden baskets on Easter morning as a way to

Sophomore visual communication design major Genevieve Carstensen. (Courtesy of Genevieve Carstensen)


“It’s a Polish tradition where you would bring a basket to … mass the day before Easter Sunday, and it would be full of ingredients and foods that you will be having on your Easter Sunday feast with your family … and the priest would bless them, so that’s where the Easter basket comes from,” Carstensen said. “Now, we fill them with chocolate.”

Roebke said she knows of Polish Christians who still bring these baskets to her church for blessings.

She also said the church organizes an Easter egg hunt for second graders and below, but she also tries to incorporate the real significance of why Christians celebrate the holiday.

The symbol of the eggshell alludes to the image of the empty tomb, and the egg itself represents new life.

“After 40 days, he ascended into heaven, at which place, at which time we believe that for the first time, humanity entered into heaven because he was both fully human and fully divine in the Christian understanding of who Jesus was,” Roebke said.

Carstensen said churchgoers celebrate the resurrection of Christ not only on Easter, but every Sunday during the year.

“I would encourage everybody to go every Sunday because you’re only going to gain grace and everything else good from going and resetting there,” Carstensen said.

Roebke said even though the number of ex-Catholics appears to grow in America, the church holds on tight.

“We joke in the Catholic tradition that, you know, you can leave the church, but it never leaves you,” Roebke said.

Alyse Riffer is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].