Deputy Town Manager Debra Millikin, with husband Chris and daughter, Lily, age 18 months. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Children toss their eggs back into the bin in Newton, with some pieces of candy making its way in as well. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Max Faye, age 4, shows off his basket of eggs in Newton. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Children look through their treasures in Newton's Memory Park. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
A bevy of colorful eggs in Andover Township, which tallied to over 1,000 at the end of the event. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Andover Township children sort through their eggs after the hunt, to take home candies and other treasures. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Alex Robinson, age 2, smiles and poses with the Easter Bunny in Andover Township. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
The Easter Bunny gives out hugs and candy in Newton. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Town of Newton and Andover Township Kick Off Easter Festivities With Easter Egg Hunts
Saturday, April 7, 2012 • 1:27pm
NEWTON, NJ – In the Town of Newton and Andover Township today, there were two very similar scenes a number of miles apart.
At the dot of 10 in Andover Township, and at 10:30 in the Town of Newton, hundreds of eager children went scurrying after thousands of colored plastic eggs, and minutes after the festivities had begun, there were happy kids enjoying their loot, with the event winding down as quickly as it had begun.
In the Town of Newton, the egg hunt took place in Memory Park, and Andover Township's at Hillside Park. Newton's Recreation Commission and Andover's Recreation Committee organized the festivities in each place.
And in both towns the bunny made an appearance, and, unlike his long-eared contemporary, “White Rabbit” from Wonderland, the Easter Bunny was right on time for both showings in the Town of Newton and Andover Township. The Easter Bunny lingered long after the eggs were all scooped up, for photos with children from each of the municipalities, and to pass out candy.
The Easter Egg Hunts were rescheduled from last Saturday in each town due to inclement weather.
Today’s weather for the respective egg hunts was sunny, with some cooler, breezier conditions, with temperatures slightly under 50 degrees.
“We had a great turnout today, you couldn’t ask for a better day,” said Jackie Huelbig, Andover Township’s Director/Secretary of the Recreation Committee, who was on site for Andover’s event, doling out gifts for children as they turned in their plastic eggs.
“It’s really wonderful to see so many kids, and families out for the Easter Egg Hunt,” said Town of Newton Mayor, Helen Le Frois, who attended the event in Newton. “I hope everyone has a Happy Easter and Passover.”
What started the tradition that has children everywhere frenzied for colored eggs from a fuzzy whilte rabbit?
Though not totally known, it is believed decorating eggs began as early as the 1300’s, with eggs, first hard-boiled to preserve them, since in Catholicism especially, eggs were forbidden during the Lenten season. In the Eastern Orthodox Church even today, eggs are dyed red to symbolize Christ’s sacrifice.
With eggs’ disappearances during Lent, is a reason why they are said to be so abundant at Easter. Eggs are also a symbol of fertility, and some believe it is representative of the stone being rolled away as well, from Christ’s tomb.
How did a folkloric snow-colored hare, known as the Easter Bunny, or Easter Rabbit or Spring Bunny, come to deliver eggs, candies, and toys to children?
Again, like the egg, the rabbit is a symbol of conception, and, in some medieval churches, was often seen depicted in paintings with the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child. A motif of “Three Hares” (some feel representing the Trinity) was frequently carved into walls in ancient European Churches, especially in England, France, and Germany.
Rabbits often had positive similar connotations in synagogues too.
It was the Pennsylvania Dutch who brought the “Osterhaste” or Easter Hare to America in the 1700’s, when children were told if they behaved, they would receive colored eggs in their caps and bonnets.