Easter Decorating 101

Iconic Symbols and Meanings

No matter your religious tradition, there are several reasons and historical origination for some of the Easter traditions we know today. Knowing the popular symbols and their history can assist you in decorating with the elements you feel most drawn to. Here are some of the most common elements of Easter celebrations that can enhance your planning.


Chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks, where did these things come from? The oldest Easter traditions might come from Pagan traditions and these two animals are no exception. They played key roles in the folklore of Eostre, the Pagan goddess of Spring and fertility. The folklore goes that she came upon a bird that was dying from the chill of winter, so she turned the bird into a bunny to keep it warm with fur. The bunny continued to lay eggs like a bird though, like some of the jelly bean laying rabbits you’ve seen knit before. Bunnies and chicks are reminiscent of this story. Christianity also has roots deep in Easter. Lambs are a commonly eaten meal around the Easter holiday because this is the meal Jesus would have had at the last supper.


It’s also said in this very story that the bird turned bunny pointed to the eggs and they became decorative to give to Eostre as a way of saying thanks. The egg also can be found in Christianity after Mary Magdalene brought a plain white egg to an emperor and told him that she’d seen Jesus resurrected. The emperor told her that the egg she was holding would more likely turn red before their eyes than Jesus being resurrected, and the egg turned red right before their eyes! Eating eggs on Easter Sunday after Christianity’s 40 day lent has ended has also been a joy and was called “Egg Sunday” in Europe throughout history. To celebrate Lent’s end and the resurrection of Jesus, eggs were presented in baskets with colored straw like a bird’s nest.


Because Easter is a very serious and holy tradition held by Christians that deals with life and death, the pastel colors, soft baby animals, and fun and games coordinated for the children of the holiday lighten the mood.

Added Flare

After choosing which elements mean the most to you, you can begin decorating with those! Table cloths of pastel or bright colors and center pieces and displays made of your favorite story characters or animals make lovely places for your guests to rest between activities. If you feel drawn to educational and interactive flare, a petting zoo makes a great addition to an Easter celebration. A performance of an Easter related story is also a great idea.

Potential Dangers

Be sure to look up safety measures to take if you plan on putting together an Easter egg hunt as one of the lighthearted activities for the children. The contents of the eggs and where they are put is very important for the safety of the children. Remember that there is no replacement for proper adult supervision. Salmonella is a contaminant that can be found carried in live animals, real eggs served on Easter, or in your Easter dinner so be sure to follow proper instruction for cooking, refrigerating, and keeping your hands as clean as possible throughout the day. The petting zoo is a good opportunity for kids to learn proper hand washing technique and hand-sanitizer often makes a great addition to a basket or Easter egg.