Origins of the Easter Bunny

Easter has just passed and as is tradition in the Procure Office, we’re looking at the history of the holiday. We could go back and look at Easter or the Jewish Passover, but we thought of a stranger question to ask: Where did the Easter Bunny come from? When we think Easter Bunny in the U.S., we think of a playful children’s character and the candy industry’s best friend for sales next to Halloween. Is the bunny just a corporate sales mascot or is there some weird way to make it a religious symbol?   An Ancient Symbol The exact origins of the Easter Bunny are complicated, in truth it probably arose from a number of religions and beliefs practiced over centuries. Take what we have here with a grain of salt, because this particular rabbit doesn’t have a clear or concrete origin. We can connect rabbits to numerous periods, religions and fesitivities. The Pagan Goddess of fertility, Eostre, has been connected to the rabbit and as a possible origin of the name Easter. Eostre herself can be traced back farther, with some connections to the Norse Freyja. Unfortunately, Freyja hasn’t got a connection to rabbits, we we know it came after her time or from other religions. In principal anyway, this is a time period so far back that we can only speculate today. Rabbits made their way into the Christian churches as well. Today, they can be seen […]

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The History of Presidents’ Day

Another holiday, another deep dive into History. Today we’re celebrating Washington’s Birthday, before his Birthday. We’re also celebrating all the Presidents we’ve had over the past two hundred years or so. Let’s take a trip through History.   George Washington We could spend weeks posting about our first President. He began life as a humble surveyor in Virginia. By 1752 he would survey over 60,000 acres and continued the trade throughout his life. For an era of riding on horseback and careful hand measurement, this was no small feat. Washington’s strong work ethic would eventually see him appointed a Military Adjutant in the 1750s. Washington’s first military action would come as a Major in the Virginia Militia during the French and Indian War. His service would eventually see him appointed the a Colonel and the commander of the Virginia Militia. Despite his service the British Army would refuse to grant him Officers’ status and pay in their ranks. Washington was a colonial soldier through and through. There would be a brief, peaceful period for Washington after his retirement in 1758. He would go on to get married, run his plantation, and slowly get involved with politics. He would serve as a representative in the Virginia House of Burgesses as an outspoken critic of the British, their taxes, and eventually would try to ban British Imports outright. At the start of the Revolutionary War, Washington approached the Continental Congress in full […]

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The History of Thanksgiving

It’s time for another deep dive into the History of a Holiday. Today we’re going to cover Thanksgiving. Luckily, this is something a little more straight forward than Halloween’s two thousand year history.   The First Thanksgiving There is a long history to the holiday pre-dating what we’ve often be taught was the first Thanksgiving. Among the religious Separatists and the Puritans, there was a tradition of providential holidays. In times of great challenge, it was traditional to declare a religious fast and appeal to God for deliverance. In times of great success and abundance, great feasts to Thank God were a common occurrence. Going farther back, harvest celebrations can be found among the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans who feasted and gave thanks to their respective gods for a successful harvest. Throughout the colonization of America, there were multiple “Thanksgivings” held. In 1565 there was a Thanksgiving in St. Augustine, Florida to thank God for the crew’s safe passage from Europe. Another was held in 1619 in Virgina, proclaimed as a “Day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God,” by the British Settlers there. Our traditional “Thanksgiving” featured in numerous TV Specials and elementary school history classes was’t held until 1621. Perhaps the success of the Plymouth Colonists has made it a better recorded and remembered celebration. Those colonists, commonly known as the Pilgrims, had just taken in their first successful harvest. Per the tradition, it was a time of abundance and […]

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The History of Labor Day

What is the point of Labor Day? In the United States, we commonly think of it as the end of Summer. Throw your last party, make your final trip to the beach, and be at work or in class Tuesday morning. Don’t forget to buy your books and coats, mother nature’s about to crank up the freezer. We often overlook the actual origins of the holiday, dating back over a century to the 1700s for the US. Variations on the holiday elsewhere in the world fall on different dates, but share the celebration of worker’s rights.   The Labor Movement Before the 19th century, there weren’t really workers’ rights or any regulations requiring worker safety. There wasn’t a widespread concept of overtime pay, no job site safety, and if the boss said ‘you’re fired because a horse looked at me funny’, there were no laws protecting your employment. It wasn’t a great situation for workers, and it was about to get worse. The Industrial Revolution brought machines into the equation. Factories now had moving parts. If someone slipped or didn’t pay attention, the machinery could remove a finger, hand, arm, or head without ever stopping. It was possible to go to work, lose an arm, and simply be fired for not showing up the next day while you recovered. There were kids working in factories instead of playing or going to school. Just to add insult to injury, there was […]

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