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?
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!
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!