Mythical Monday: Easter Customs and Traditions by Mae Clair

I’m a day late with my well wishes, but I hope everyone had a happy Easter.

I’m especially fond of this holiday. After Christmas, it’s my favorite. Naturally, it makes me think of the Resurrection, eternal life and forgiveness, but it also resonates with shiny newness and fresh beginnings.

After a long winter, Easter is the gateway to spring.  In many countries, bells are rung on Easter Sunday to herald the arrival of the new season, and drive away evil spirits. Given these same bothersome ghosts were also banished at Christmas and New Year’s, it’s a wonder any managed to hang around. Stragglers or loiterers who didn’t get the message the first two times, they were either extremely stubborn or exsitng on fumes.

If the bell ringing didn’t send them fleeing, painting Easter eggs often did the trick. Why? Because good ghosts like pretty things. So the ‘spirit cavalry’ would arrive, attracted by the colorful eggs and send the troublesome wraiths packing.

And how about our favorite bunny, known to go hippity-hopping about, delivering candy and eggs?

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Is this guy adorable or what? I simply couldn’t resist him when I went searching for stock photography. What a cutie!

He got his start in Germany and was introduced to America in the 1700s by German settlers who colonized Pennsylvania Dutch Country. The ‘bunny’ was actually a hare known as Osterhase. Especially popular with children, Osterhase laid eggs then delivered them to good boys and girls who’d fashioned nests for him from their caps and bonnets.

Perhaps that generated the tradition of Easter bonnets. I have many fond memories of Easter Sundays going to church in my new hat (normally beribboned with silken streamers), frilly dress and white gloves. When church was over, there would be Easter baskets waiting at home. I’m not sure how my parents managed the timing—getting the kids out the door to church, then having the baskets waiting when we returned. Since both parents were with us, we were convinced the Easter Bunny had delivered them.

There must have been some frenzied last minute coordination between my mom and dad, LOL!

I remember the goodies—milk chocolate bunnies, malted eggs, sugary marshmallow peeps, foil-covered chocolate eggs in bright gem colors, and a rainbow of jelly beans. We’d have an egg hunt, then later at dinner, an Easter ham.

Several years ago, I talked my husband into coloring eggs with me. The night before Easter he hid them around the house without telling me. He knew how much I’d loved hunting for eggs as a kid and arranged for me to have my very own hunt on Easter morning. I still remember finding the one he hid in the grandfather’s clock!

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I’d love to hear any fond memories you have of Easter, how you celebrate, or even your favorite Easter candy (mine is marshmallow peeps).

I hope your Easter was filled with fun, whimsy and grace!

14 thoughts on “Mythical Monday: Easter Customs and Traditions by Mae Clair

  1. Awwww…your hubby’s a sweetheart!! We usually color eggs as a family and then let the kids find what we’ve hidden the next morning (we hid the eggs and baskets after they went to bed). We had to change things up this year however. Last year my big moose of a Great Dane, Sully, ate many of the eggs we hid, so this year the Easter bunny was smart and just hid plastic eggs with coins inside 🙂 there’s not many places a Dane can’t reach 🙂 Kids were happy, dog wasn’t smelly, and so mom n dad were happy. We always have a nice ham dinner with my husbands family that day. Good times 🙂

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    • OMG, Sully was definitely a bad dog, but he sounds so loveable and huggable too! I got such a chuckle from this, picturing him poking his nose everywhere. I’m glad this year didn’t hold the same kind of surprise for you, your hubby and kids. Sounds like you had agreat holiday. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. My favorite Easter tradition as a kid was going to sunrise service. It was dark still when we all crawled out of bed, quickly slipped into jeans and a sweater and shoes, and trekked down to church. We’d bundle together on benches in the wooded area behind the church, wrapped in blankets against the dewy chill. There was always something magical about dawn slowly filtering in through the trees as we sang and heard the sermon. After, we’d go home and nap for an hour before kicking the Easter festivities into high gear.

    My favorite Easter candy is Reese’s eggs. It’s good for my health that they only sell them once a year. 🙂

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    • What a great description of a sunrise service, Laura. I’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying one but it sounds very special, and defniitely a memory to cherish.

      Yum, Reese’s Eggs–I love that combo of peanut butter and chocolate!

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    • Happy belated Easter, Joanne! I can smell the milk chocolate of the hollow bunnies. The ears always had to go first. You’re right that they had their own special delicioius taste. Thanks for sharing!

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    • Hi, Debbie! Chocolate rocky road Easter eggs sound wonderful.YUM! I’ve never had one of those but know I’d be a fan, LOL. I’m glad my post brought back happy memories. 🙂

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  3. I was thinking the other day about how exciting it was to get a new Easter dress, and usually a little purse that pretty much held a few coins and some Kleenex. LOL You’re right about it signaling a fresh start — although right now winter can’t seem to get the hint that it is time for it to be gone! I also had to laugh at your comment about how there shouldn’t have been any ghosts left after the previous banishing that had been done. I love your posts — this is another fun one. 🙂

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    • Hi, Donna! I completely forgot about the little purse with coins. I remember having that too. It made me feel so grown up.

      I’m glad you enjoyed my post. It was fun remembering and fun writing. And yeah, those poor spirits…by the third banishing I can just imagine them barely hanging on, LOL!

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  4. Catching up a bit late, here, Mae. I had to read what you said about Easter, knowing you’d provide some great myth or history on the topic. Love the story of your husband hiding the eggs. How fun.

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    • HI, Stanalei! Thanks for checking out my post. Yep, that Easter with my hubby hiding the eggs was such a treat. I’m a kid at heart and that really brought out the whimisical side of me (not that it’s difficult to do). Thanks for commenting! 🙂

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