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Easter traditions and family Easters
Easter Bunny present?
Easter traditions and family Easters
Well here it is nearly Easter again! It comes around very year but, confusingly, it moves about. This is due to the fact that Easter is based on the lunar calendar and as it originated in Europe and falls on the first Sunday in which a full moon occurs after the summer equinox. The Equinox is those day on which day and night are of equal length and occurs in summer between 17 and 21 March and in winter on 17 and 21 September. Therefore Easter Sunday can fall on any date from March 22 to April 25th
As an side according to Von Del Chamberlain “many people believe that since the equinox is a time of balance where the daylight hours and nighttime hours are equal, that -- by some mystical force -- one can balance eggs on their end on these days. Some believe that one can only balance an egg within a few hours before or after the exact time of the equinox” Try this you could end up with egg on your face!
Easter has both pagan and Christian origins. The Spring Equinox is associated with, or known as other names such as:, Eostar, Eostre, Feast of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Festival of Trees, Lady Day, NawRuz, and Ostra, , Rites of Spring, and the Vernal Equinox. It has its origins in both Christian and Pagan rites . Christianity obviously celebrated the death of Jesus on Good Friday and the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday. In one pagan religion, Cybele, the Phrygian fertility goddess, had a consort who was believed to have been born via a virgin birth. He was Attis, who was said to have died and been resurrected each year during the period MAR-22 to MAR-25; i.e. at the time of the vernal equinox in the Julian calendar.
The symbolism of eggs and bunnies is obvious in the pagan religions as they were symbols of fertility, birth and abundance. In the Christian tradition, eggs too, were a symbol of new birth, symbolizing the rebirth of Jesus. The tradition of hollow eggs was ascribed to the eggs being symbolic of the empty tomb discovered on Easter Sunday.
My first Easter
Enough of the history stuff, I remember my first Easter at the age of about four or maybe five. Easter was a time of presents, chocolate eggs and church services.
We all got dressed in our Sunday best. We had to hold off, no breakfast, church service and home for breakfast, eggs and presents afterwards. My first Easter present was a small, cobalt blue, pick up truck with a chocolate egg in the load area.
After that ,as I grew up it was a blur of Easters not really different from one another always following the same format as above, church, breakfast, presents and chocolate eggs. On good Friday we always had toasted hot cross buns and tea for breakfast for as long as I can remember.
When I was dating my long time girl friend. (I dated her for about 5 years and we planned to marry but somehow that just did not happen. We agreed to marry, I bought the rings and we came home to announce our plans and discovered that we had lost the rings, or had taken them from my pockets. So we reluctantly agreed that that was not to be and went our own way after that.) We pretty much followed the Easter pattern described above, except her mother introduced a slight change in that breakfasts after the Easter service were gin and scrambled eggs. She had the gin we had the scrambled eggs.
Once I had married and we had children, we followed the pattern of my childhood, namely we all got dressed in our Sunday best. We had to hold off, no breakfast, church service and home for breakfast, eggs and presents afterwards.
First year one child, third year two children , fifth year 3 children and the after 10 we had what we call the “Laatlammetjie” (late lamb) or the pushover try in injury time. Our Parish priest was much amused by he annual changes every Easter and commented on it to me once, saying how he could not wait for Easter to see the whole family together and growing up.
The Sunset Years
In the last few years my dearly beloved and I have invited our Grandchildren to visit at easter. We hide eggs in the garden and "help" the children find them. We have done this for last 6 years and have watched them search from todlers to our oldest at 10. We think the 10 year may still have ayear or two of innnocence and fun left to search for eggs. Naturally parents are invited too (our children that is) but they can't technically look for eggs but can help thier kids.
So in summary Easter was a time of birth, growth, presents and chocolates and a bit of quality family time too !
May you all have a happy Easter!