Easter: A Celebration of Life
Easter or the Pasko ng Pagkabuhay (in the Philippines) is a much-anticipated conclusion of the Lent (a season of fasting, prayers and penance) on the last Sunday of April this year. It is also the celebration of the Risen Christ or when Jesus rose from the dead after three days.
It is also related to the Jewish celebration of Passover wherein Jesus became the main sacrifice to save mankind from sin (or the original sin) so that we can have eternal life.
When Spaniards came in the country, they converted most of the inhabitants and still the practice goes on and on up to this day.
Although, the name has a paganistic origin in Europe, the practice is both celebrated by Christian and non-Christians, especially the egg-hunting.
After a monthlong recollection, practices and celebration (reenactment of Jesus life here on Earth), the happy part is to search for those colorful eggs that make children giddy and hope for the prizes that await them once they found one or two.
When I was on the radio, we used to announce a contest with the participation of the local churches for EGG-HUNTING Contest.The first to deliver the first easter egg will win the major prize and so on and so forth.
Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday and ends with Easter Sunday, as well (although, novenas and prayers continue for the next 40 days) What happens in-between during that week is the dramatization of the Life of Jesus according to the written accounts of four apostles in the Holy Bible.
Thursday and Friday are the most anticipated days for you can see Christian fanatics roaming the streets reciting and acting the highlights of the Passion (or the Sufferings of Christ). The Stations of the Cross or Via Crusis is a sight to behold. The chronological events on the Life of Jesus are portrayed in pictures with make-shift altars on the streets where you pause for prayers and enlightenment. You can also see famous Biblical characters being portrayed on the streets during the reenactment.
If you're here in the country, you can also attend or participate in the singing of the Passion. I assure you, you will never fall asleep while singing those passages from the Holy Bible amid the constant offering of snacks (ginger ale or salabat with puto or rice cakes).
The events of Easter season are just to remind us that Christianism is not a hoax. It is to remind us that celebration of life should be our goal every year because this is the most precious gift given to us.
Egg symbolizes life and as we look for it in our family, friends, neighbors or even enemies, then we can truly appreciate on how to live in this world blessedly.
Preparing the Easter Eggs: The Orthodox Way
While on board Greek vessels, my contract usually coincide with the Easter celebration. It usually falls on the first week of May. But this year, The Catholic and Orthodox Christians will celebrate it on the same date this year (April 24th, 2011).
Being in the galley for a decade (I had to rest for a while due to an allergy), my Greek cook and I used to prepare four trays of eggs (one tray equals 24 eggs = 96 eggs in all) with four dominant food colors (red, blue, green and yellow).
The eggs are boiled on along with the desired food color. After 30 minutes, we cool the eggs on the tray then wipe it olive oil for longevity. It usually lasts for two weeks.
My Greek cook also bake some Greek sweet breads, especially the braided pastry then put some of the eggs on it.
During the Easter party, usually 12 midnight, officers and crew meet at the salon then greet each other (with traditional kisses on both cheeks) and gleefuly break Easter eggs. Whoever Easter egg lasts will be declared winners. Captain's bonus will be given.
The Holy Gospel of the Easter Rabbit c/o P0YKPAC
Rabbit: The Other Easter Symbol
I don't know much about Easter bunny, but children like the gifts to be bunny stuffed toys. Well, it's cuddly and it coincides with the present Chinese Year of Metal Rabbit.
While perusing for appropriate Easter videos on YouTube, I came across with this animated scenes. It's about this cottontail rabbit in animalandia who's been hailed as their Messiah.
Or maybe you can give your friend a cuddly rabbit, a real one, as their pet.
These animals are in-demand these days and marketed by local animal traders legally. A couple of these cute rabbits will keep you disciplined on having pets because you should attend to their needs more.