Easter egg hunts have become a big part of celebrating the holiday. Children across the country run around, looking for bright eggs with sweet surprises inside. However, one Pennsylvania city has a problem calling it an “Easter egg hunt.” The city of Easton, Pennsylvania, has reportedly dropped the word “Easter” from promotions for its holiday egg hunts over concerns about the separation of church and state, and the reactions are strong.
It all started after someone allegedly complained over the government’s inclusion of “Easter” in various advertisements, pondering whether it would be seen as a constitutional issue. This allegation supposedly triggered the removal of the word from promos shared on social media, WFMZ-TV reported.
The city’s official website now refers to the events sponsored by Easton’s Bureau of Recreation & Neighborhood Programs as “egg hunts.” The advertisement is naturally adorned with decorative Easter eggs. City Administrator Luis Campos reportedly explained these details at the Easton City Council meeting, though the video and schedule from that meeting are not yet publicly available.
The city promoted at least one “Easter Egg hunt” on its website in 2019, and that reference is still available. Reaction to the news was immediate, with hundreds of comments quickly flooding the WFMZ-TV Facebook post about the removal. Some called the decision “dumb” and “ridiculous,” and others seemed confused.
One woman said, “I totally believe in the separation of church and state, but this is truly absurd.” Others were much more lengthy and animated. “Why bother having it then! Are they going to use white plastic eggs to hunt? Might as well!” another person said. “If people don’t believe or care about Easter, they should not take their [children] to hunt EASTER eggs! It’s ridiculous!”
And yet another commenter implored people to “vote better” and “stand up for religious freedom.” “How sad! What’s next, remove CHRIST from Christmas?” she wrote. You can read the hundreds of responses here. Every Easter, children across the country rush around their homes and gardens searching for chocolate eggs. Easter isn’t Easter without the annual egg hunt for many families. In many pre-Christian societies, eggs held associations with spring and new life. People may think that Easter egg hunts are unnecessary for Easter celebrations, but they have a deeper meaning. Early Christians adopted these beliefs, making the egg a symbol of the resurrection and the empty shell a metaphor for Jesus’ tomb.
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 celebrating this early springtime holiday. Removing Easter from the egg hunt announcement attempts to remove the history of Easter from the egg hunts. It also tries to take away from the actual celebration of the holiday, the resurrection of Jesus. If someone has an issue with calling it an Easter egg hunt, their children shouldn’t participate, or they could hold a separate egg hunt at their home. However, it’s unfair to remove Easter from the egg hunt for everyone who celebrates.