March 27, 2005 at 12:56 PM CST - Updated July 2 at 3:00 AM
Bald Knob Easter Sunrise Services By: Lauren Keith
Alto Pass, IL -- Each year, hundreds of people from all over the region travel to the Bald Knob Cross near Alto Pass.
This year services were moved inside because of the weather.
Some make a whole weekend out of these Easter services, they camp out, wake up the next morning and eat breakfast at the Bald Knob Community Room. All the proceeds from that breakfast go towards upkeep of the steel cross.
Before the popular high cross was there, folks traveled from all over, starting back in 1936, to hold Easter sunrise services on the mountain top. The cross actually was built in 1963 as the result of numerous donations.
Bald Knob Cross sits on the highest point in Union County. To be exact, at 1,034 feet above sea level. In fact, Bald Knob officials say you can see as far as 7,000 square miles from atop the mountain.
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The Germans brought the symbol of the Easter rabbit to America. It was widely ignored by other Christians until shortly after the Civil War. In fact, Easter itself was not widely celebrated in America until after that time.
Prior to A.D. 325, Easter was variously celebrated on different days of the week, including Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
From the earliest times, the egg was a symbol of rebirth in most cultures. Eggs were often wrapped in gold leaf or, if you were a peasant, colored brightly by boiling them with the leaves or petals of certain flowers.
As with the Easter Bunny and the holiday itself, the Easter Egg predates the Christian holiday of Easter. The exchange of eggs in the springtime is a custom that was centuries old when Easter was first celebrated by Christians.