Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Trivia and Traditions

Easter traditions
Easter Candle

"Easter is the gift of HOPE... Easter is the gift of PEACE... Easter is the gift of LOVE..." from Easter is the Gift poem.  Author unknown. 

Easter is one of my favorite holidays.  Here are a few Easter facts that you may not know, some of which I didn't know until this morning!

1.  The DATE of Easter
photo by Josh Goh
Easter is commonly referred to as the “moveable feast” because, based on the lunar calendar, it can fall between March 22 and April 25.  This time of lunar lunacy, or full-moon fever, may explain the slightly erratic behavior of some sporting Easter bonnets the size of small sombreros or dressing their unsusptecting children up like Easter rabbits.  Good grief!

2.  Easter eggs
In both the secular and religious worlds, eggs are a symbol of both fertility and birth.  And, from a practical point, they are cheap and multifunctional.... pretty, easily dyed, fun to throw, delicious in a soufflé, and fairly harmless unless you have an egg allergy!

3.  The Rabbit
In Germany, tradition states that a white rabbit would leave baskets of goodies for well-behaved children on Easter Eve.  Those traditions arrived in Pennsylvania by German immigrants in the 18th Century.  Today, they are as symbolic of the Easter season as Peeps and colored eggs... just don't give a couple of them to your kids as a gift.  Remember the old saying:  "They reproduce like rabbits!"

4.  Brightly colored objects or flowers
In the ancient societies of Rome, Greece, and Egypt, colored eggs and flowers were given as gifts during special occasions during the spring.  This idea of coloring objects migrated to Europe where they began to symbolize spring, or the “rebirth” of nature.  Just think, this idea of colorization has been popular centuries... hundreds of years before Ted Turner decided to "add some color" to old black and white movies during the 1980s. 

5.  The Easter bonnet
During Lent, many ladies would forgo the purchase of anything luxurious.  But, as you know, ladies like to shop... and after those 40 + days of "self-denial," a decadent purchase was soon to follow.  Frequently, those purchases were clothing.  The Easter bonnet was as historically extravagant as Christian Louboutin shoes are today.  The idea of bonnet purchase most likely started during the 16th century tradition of ‘wardrobe renewal’ to symbolize spring. 

6.  Ham
Though lamb was the meat of choice for the Last Supper, pork has been much more economically attainable for most people over the years.  And, fortunately, everything tastes better with bacon!  OINK.

7.  Sweets and treats
Though hot cross buns were the "original" Easter treat, a few important dates should be noted:  Chocolate eggs were first seen around… the early 1800s, Jelly beans… the 1930s, and Peeps… the 1950s!
There you have it… some Easter-inspired trivia.

1 comment:

  1. Love the picture of ham. Makes me wish our menu had been different. Easter is one of my favorite holidays since all the family gets together.