But what does this Christian holiday experience have to do with chocolate eggs, the Easter bunny or family lunch? Taking the excesses of consumerism aside for a moment, these symbols and traditions have meanings.
Pesach and Easter. The word Easter derives from the Hebrew Pesach, which means "passage, leap". In the celebration of Pesach, the Passover, the Jews remember the end of slavery in Egypt and the passage, led by Moses, to freedom in the Promised Land. It is the feast of the Covenant of God with the children of Israel, His people. The Christian Easter celebrates a new covenant, not only with a chosen people, but with all those seeking salvation. It is Jesus Christ who leads us to a new "passage", from the slavery of sin to the freedom of life.
The lamb. In Jewish tradition, the lamb has an important meaning, as clearly emerges in the Old Testament. When the pharaoh refuses to free the Jews, God inflicts seven plagues, the last of which is the death of all the firstborn. The families who, warned by Moses, sacrifice a lamb (an animal without spots or defect) and mark the doors of the houses with his blood are saved. Jesus Christ, who had neither stain nor sin, was sacrificed on the Cross for the salvation of humanity, and is therefore identified as the Lamb of God.
The egg. This symbol dates back to the pre-Christian Easter traditions. The egg symbolizes birth and new life, and for this reason in different ancient civilizations eggs were part of the celebrations of the time. Christianity has taken up this tradition, giving the egg the symbol of resurrection, of birth to new life.
For the Salesian Family, Easter is linked to two historical events: Don Bosco, in fact, definitively transferred his first Oratory to Casa Pinardi on Easter 1846; he was also canonized on Easter Sunday, 1 April 1934. He is the only saint who was canonized on an Easter day.