In many countries, including Greece, Germany, the US, and Ukraine, Easter is a major spring holiday that marketers can’t ignore, even though it is closely connected to religion.
Luckily for marketing professionals trying to maintain a secular tone of voice—Most symbols we associate with Easter and the holiday itself also have deep pagan roots. That’s why using them can help you both stay connected with your Christian audience and continue being joyful, but religiously neutral for everyone else.
In this article, we’ll dive into 5 Easter symbols in order for you to decide on one for your creative holiday projects. And if you’ve already found your own symbol—Skip ahead to our curated collections of themed images and videos.Explore Big Easter Collection
Easter bunny (also: rabbit or hare)
Meaning: fertility, the Virgin Mary, and the Holy Trinity (if there are three hares or rabbits together).
Best context: projects related to children and families.Go to Easter Bunny Collection
Although bunnies spread around the world as Easter symbols due to German Lutherans, the concept itself has pre-Christian roots.
In ancient times, philosophers like Plutarch and Philostratus considered a hare to be a hermaphrodite, that is, a creature that could give life to offspring without losing its virginity. Thus, a rabbit or a hare migrated into the medieval Christian canon to depict the Virgin Mary—You can spot the animal in ancient books, cathedral interiors, and church attribute decor.
Another fascinating fact about the Easter bunny is that just a few hundred years ago, the creature was a counterpart to Santa Claus and was perceived as a “judge” over children who behaved well or badly before Easter. Children who listened to their parents received Easter eggs, sweets, and toys from the Easter bunny—The treat appeared in their baskets on Easter morning.
Want to create Easter-themed visuals by yourself? Find some tips here: Cute Easter Photoshoot Ideas to Try in 2023.
Easter eggs (also: Paschal eggs) & Easter baskets
Meaning: fertility, rebirth, and the end of Lent.
Best context: seasonal campaigns targeting traditional Christian families; seasonal content dedicated to home decor and holiday meals.Check out Easter Eggs Collection
The most famous symbol of Easter, a colored egg, is not exclusively Christian either. Since ancient times, eggs have symbolized new life, life in general, and fertility.
Traditional Easter egg colors and ornaments differ from region to region. In Greece and Eastern Europe, red dye is often used, symbolizing the blood of Christ. Symbols like a cross, a bird, a circle, and a flower are used to decorate Easter eggs in Ukraine, Greece, France, Scandinavian and Baltic countries, and many other regions. There, a flower stands for purity or motherhood, a bird symbolizes a human soul, and a circle hints at a life cycle.
There are also many Easter games where colored eggs play an essential role. The most popular is the egg hunt, which involves searching for hidden eggs in nature and collecting them in an Easter basket. Another one, widely practiced in Eastern Europe, England, Germany, and France, is egg tapping. And the egg rolling game is mainly practiced in the USA, Great Britain, and Germany. The games are great themes for alternative visuals for your holiday campaigns.
Meaning: the end of Lent and rebirth or fertility depending on the form of candy (egg- or hare-shaped).
Best context: religion-neutral seasonal projects, including those for youth and children.Explore Easter Candy Collection
Along with spring-themed postcards, Easter candies can be called a symbol of the holiday in the world of commerce. The symbol is not as old as the ones described above—Chocolate eggs have been around since the end of the 18th century, when they were first produced at the court of Louis XIV in Versailles.
Original Easter candies were egg-shaped due to their production technology. Confectioners simply filled empty egg shells with chocolate. Much later, other types of Easter candy, including chocolate lambs and rabbits appeared. Today, the most popular variety of Easter candy includes “eggs” and “bunnies” with soft marzipan filling and a hard chocolate shell.
Consider that sweets and other delights are symbols of Easter because they are forbidden during Lent. Therefore, do not overuse them on the eve of Easter, especially if you are dealing with a religious audience that follows traditions.
Easter lamb and other Easter food
Meaning: depends on the particular meal; It can mean fertility (bunny), new life and resurrection (colored eggs), purification of a human soul (salt), sacrifice and purity (roasted lamb), or prosperity (ham).
Best context: seasonal culinary projects and HoReCa events or informal picnic invitations.Discover Easter Food Collection
Easter marks the end of Lent, which means that products of animal origin, including eggs, dairy, and of course, meat, return to the diets of Christians.
Traditional Easter foods will differ depending on which products are staples for a certain region. For example, in Italy, a traditional Easter meal is casatiello, a savory pie made of dough stuffed with salami and cheese. In Greece, people eat mageiritsa made of chopped lamb liver. And in Eastern Europe, in particular, in Ukraine, special sweet bread is baked for Easter.
Lamb or pig meat is part of the main dish in many countries. Eating lamb has its roots in the traditions of Jewish Passover (the holiday on which the sacrifice of a lamb takes place). However, lamb in the Christian tradition acquires extra meaning due to the sacrifice of Jesus and the Bible text, where Christ is called the “Lamb of God”. As for ham, enjoying it in spring has pagan roots, since a pig is an ancient symbol of material well-being and prosperity.
Be careful with content that depicts food of animal origin, as your target audience may include vegetarians and vegans.
Easter lilies and other flowers
Meaning: innocence, peace, and joy, as well as motherhood and the Virgin Mary (in Roman Catholicism).
Best context: spring-time promotional campaigns targeting non-religious audiences.View Easter Flower Collection
A white lily is another powerful symbol of Easter. The flower is widely used to decorate churches for Easter service and the week after, but you can also put a bouquet of lilies on an Easter table to add to your feast.
Lilies symbolize purity and innocence and are also associated with peace. For this reason, white lilies (as well as other white flowers and white doves) are often used for anti-war messages. Read more on this topic here: The Concept of War: What to Shoot if You Are Not a Documentalist.
The lily is an ancient female symbol that originated in the pre-Christian era. According to an ancient Rome myth, a white lily grew where Hera’s milk dropped. After centuries, the concept was adopted by early Christians and lilies became a symbol of Mary’s motherhood. For this reason, Roman Christian icons dedicated to Mary and the baby Jesus may contain images of white lilies.
Despite the active use of white lilies in iconography and festive interiors, they are a fairly neutral symbol that you can use in advertising campaigns to avoid direct references to religion.
Last thoughts on getting ready for Easter
For the past years, brands have been offering customers new products, exclusive item sets, or service discounts on Easter; all while “decorating” their messages with Easter symbols. Another approach includes projects that leverage Easter traditions. For example, a festive treat for guests during Easter week or organizing Easter egg games offline.
In both cases, preparation can be made a lot easier with stock content by Depositphotos authors. However, you can also go beyond traditional concepts and impress audiences with an online Easter challenge or an act of guerilla marketing. Ready to experiment? Explore a themed article to get inspired: Creative Marketing Ideas to Boost Your Sales This Year.
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