Easter Bat and Other Things That Don’t Belong in Holy Week

With Pew Research telling us that one third of the world is Christian and Forbes reports almost 80% of US adults celebrate Easter, it’s no surprise that the holiday is quite the marketing boom. Among the traditional and non-traditional Easter festivities, what do you need to know about the Easter bat and other things that don’t belong in Holy Week?

Easter is the most notable holiday for Christians and growing in popularity as a cultural celebration for non-Christians. Many traditional customs are associated with Easter like dying eggs and big dinners, but there are some things that don’t belong like Easter bats, horror movies, and football.

To commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Christians celebrate Holy Week and Easter in the Spring each year. And because of its family-focus, Easter is often celebrated in the US by non-Christians. Below I’ll share the highlights of Easter and how it’s commonly celebrated; as well, I’ll explain what doesn’t belong at Easter and Holy Week, too.


Are There Chocolate Bats for Easter?

Whether or not you like the bat, it’s not a common animal associated with Easter. But is it okay to have chocolate bats for Easter?

Despite the bat being considered a symbol of happiness and tranquility in some cultures, it is not a common animal for Easter, even chocolate ones. In the US, bats are associated with Halloween and Vampire folklore, making it especially inappropriate for use at Easter, a holiday of love and faith.

To be clear, there are several myths related to bats and religions. In Christianity, people think of this animal with negative situations since the Bible has labeled it as an unclean animal (Source: Deuteronomy). But not all cultures, even those rooted in Christianity, see bats this way.

To learn more about bats, I suggest Stokes Beginners Guide to Bats (available on Amazon).

For instance, there is a Polish folk tale about bats at Easter. Specifically, the Polish folklore tells us that bats have their origin in a mouse that has eaten blessed Easter food.

Chocolate bats make sense for Halloween, but not for Easter celebrations.

But as people become more open to non-traditional activities and enjoy fusing their personal likes and habits with tradition, even the lowly bat has found its way into the occasional Easter basket.

For instance, there are some people who like bats (and spiders and other ‘scary’ type animals) especially zoologists and bat specialists. So for them, it seems natural to make chocolatey bats at Easter.

But even though bats could represent numerous good things or be a favorite animal for some, this doesn’t mean it’s a good icon for most Easter celebrations. So for most, then, there are no chocolate bats for Easter.

This animal doesn’t have any connection with Easter (the true history of Jesus) and thus, is not really suitable for celebrations and Easter baskets. So if the Easter Bat doesn’t belong at Easter, what about the Easter Bunny?

If the Easter Bat doesn’t belong in Holy Week, does the Easter Bunny?

Many Easter tables aren’t complete without an Easter bunny cake.

Jewish Christians were the first to celebrate Easter. It was always a time to honor Jesus and remember his sinless sacrifice, but eventually took on more customs such as Holy Week. But does the Easter Bunny belong in Holy Week?

Though Easter is a religious holiday, with its own Holy Week, there are some customs part of Easter tradition that aren’t associated with Christianity. From the Easter Bunny to dying eggs, some Easter celebrations are okay to do, just realize they are cultural rather than spiritual.

The Easter Bunny has become one of the most famous folkloric symbols for Easter celebrations. There are countless stories and songs about the Easter Bunny and how he hides colorful eggs to be gathered by children for their Easter baskets (another non-religious custom of Easter).

Of course, in actuality, the Easter Bunny is a lot like that other holiday icon, Santa Claus. There isn’t a human-like bunny traipsing the lawns of children everywhere on Easter Sunday hiding eggs. Just like with Christmas presents under the tree, it’s mom and dad acting like the Easter Bunny!

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But is this Easter bunny (like Santa Claus) anti-Easter or in violation of Christian ideals?

After all, nowhere is a bunny ‘for Easter’ mentioned in the Bible. A bunny isn’t part of Lent, nor any commemorations of the Holy Week. A bunny isn’t listed in the Gospels about the resurrection of Jesus.

No, an Easter bunny isn’t really connected to the faith of Christianity. But it’s not antithetical to it either. It’s really up to parents (and caregivers) to decide if the Easter Bunny will be part of their Easter celebration.

For us, it serves as a cute story and fun decorations to stick on the windows. And the Easter Bunny is part of the Easter game of hiding and finding eggs. However, we never perpetuated the myth as if it’s reality, either. Our kids never had to ‘discover’ the Easter Bunny isn’t real because we never acted like he was…no more so than their teddy bear!

Other Things That Don’t Belong in Holy Week

Besides confusion over the Easter bat and Easter Bunny, what other things don’t belong in Holy Week?

Well, anything that is contrary to the love and peace of Jesus doesn’t belong in Holy Week. For instance, some people really enjoy Halloween and ‘all things scary.’ So much so, that they include horror-like things at Easter. This is inappropriate.

In fact, there is an entire movie sub-genre about ‘scary Easter Bunnies.’ This is a result of the merging of Halloween ideals with Easter. And really, what makes it scary is that it is so inappropriate and unexpected!

Scary Easter Bunny Movies:

  • Peter Rottentail (2004)
  • Serial Rabbit (2005)
  • Kottontail (2007) (Japan)
  • Easter Bunny Bloodbath (2010) (Canada)
  • Bunnyman Massacre (2014)
  • Beaster Day: Here Comes Peter Cottonhell (2014)
  • The Night Before Easter (2014)

Other ‘Easter movies’ that Don’t Belong:

  • The Unholy, released Easter weekend, 2021 about an anti-Virgin Mary
  • Donnie Darko (2001) featuring a man dressed in a large Bunny costume
  • Watership Down (1978) about the violent world of rabbits

Traditions Related to Easter And Their Origin

Below are listed some Easter customs that people still enjoy doing for this holiday.

Easter Egg Roll Competition. In 1878, President Rutherford B. Hayes opened the grounds of the White House to children in honor of Easter. Since then, every Easter Monday, the White House continues this tradition, regardless of sitting president. The Egg Rolling Competition is the main attraction where children use a long spoon and literally roll an egg to the finish line.

Every president has since President Hays has hosted the annual ‘Easter Egg Roll’ on the Whitehouse lawn.

However, the egg rolling competition is more a social event than a religious custom to celebrate Easter. Though it is not a pagan festivity nor has its origin in pagan rituals despite what some people may claim.

Baking and Having for A Special Easter Dinner. This custom is more related to the family than Easter itself, though it’s possible that the idea for a large ‘Easter’ meal goes all the way back ot the Lord’s Supper with his 12 disciples, prior to his death and resurrection.

Easter is a time that you are supposed to spend with your family and loved ones. Then, people tend to have a meal with their families in honor of God on Easter and commemorate this important date in Christianity.

Because it’s a very special date, people normally have ‘special’ food items that they don’t regularly eat. Some popular foods at Easter include an Easter ham or roast; delicious home baked breads and rolls; deviled eggs; and lots of springtime desserts like fruit pies and coconut cakes in the shape of bunnies.

Special Note About Some Foods: For example, hot-cross buns are associated with Easter and Holy Week.  Tradition has it that a 12th century monk first introduced ‘hot cross bun’. These buns are a spiced sweet bread with a cross marked on top.

Observe Lent. Before Easter, Jesus went to the desert for 40 days, where he fasted and resisted the temptations of Satan. Now it’s part of the Catholic faith to observe Lent by doing penance beginning with 40 days prior to Easter Sunday.

Catholics observe the Lenten season beginning with fasting and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and ending with Easter morning.

Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and finishes on Easter. When observing Lent, people prepare themselves by fasting from food and celebrations or otherwise by giving up something as a ‘penance’. Lent is a time for reflection and sacrifice, so people resemble what Jesus did in the desert those 40 days.

Wrapping Up Easter Bat and Other Things That Don’t Belong

To conclude, Easter has many traditional customs, some related to the Christian/Catholic faith and others that have been added as cultural practices.

  • Some religious traditions of Easter include Lent, Holy Week, and remembering the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus.
  • Some non-religious traditions of Easter are coloring eggs, the Easter Bunny, and eating chocolate.
  • Regardless of your religious or non-religious traditions of Easter, things that don’t belong as Easter customs are the Easter bat, scary movies, and horror-twists on traditional Easter customs and icons.

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SOURCES FOR YOUR REFERENCE: Wikipedia; Batcon; History

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