By Lisa Terech, Community Engagement
The celebration of Easter comprises more than just Easter Sunday. It begins with Ash Wednesday, 46 days before Easter, and the week leading up to Easter Sunday is known as Holy Week, during which Holy Thursday and Good Friday fall. The 50 day period after Easter Sunday is known as Eastertide. Today, Easter is secularly known as a celebration involving bunnies, eggs, baskets, and chocolate, but its roots are in Catholicism, and it is the most important observation for the Catholic Church, the death and resurrection of Jesus.
By the end of the 19th century, sending Easter postcards to relatives and friends became a tradition; because of the deep religious roots of this holiday, the popularity of sending cards for Easter took longer to catch on than it did for other holidays, such as Christmas. Popular iconography on the cards included eggs, flowers, springtime images, and, of course, images with religious undertones. Interestingly, during the First World War, the themes displayed on the cards changed for the times, with images of soldiers, and even the Easter Bunny became militarized.
On behalf of the Oshawa Community Museum and the Oshawa Historical Society, I wish you a very happy Easter.
Many thanks to our Durham College Library and Information Technology Students for their initial research into this collection.