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Easter Time

VIEWS: 22 PAGES: 17

									Page 1 of 17
THE DAYS OF EASTER
Lent is a forty-six day penitence season that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends
on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday. It is symbolic of the forty days
Jesus spent out in the wilderness before his ministry.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, and gets its name from the practice of
placing ashes on the foreheads of the faithful to remind them of the dust we all
return to once we die.

Palm Sunday is one week before Easter and celebrates Jesus' entry into
Jerusalem. This begins the Holy Week. Maundy Thursday signifies the Last
Supper of Jesus with his disciples. Good Friday represents the crucifixion, and
Easter Sunday celebrates Jesus' resurrection and ascent to heaven. Maundy
Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are known as the Easter Triduum or
Three Days.

Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday, is when some churches start their
celebration of Easter very late in the evening at service called the Easter Vigil. All
lights are extinguished, and a single flame is brought into the pulpit by the
minister who takes his flame and lights all the other candles with it. In some
churches, it is customary to share a meal after the lighting of the candles.

Eastertide, or the season of Easter, starts on Easter Sunday and lasts until seven
weeks later on the Days of Pentecost.

Easter Sunday is usually celebrated with a sunrise service and highly festive
music with brass instruments. The pulpit of the church is adorned with many
Easter Lilies. Easter Sunday should be that Sunday that follows the first full
moon after the first day of spring or the Vernal Equinox.

More importantly, we celebrate these days to relive Jesus' last days: The Last
Supper, The Cross, and His Resurrection into heaven.




                                      Page 2 of 17
EASTER EGGS AND TRADITIONS
The egg is the most well-known symbol of fertility, new life, and the start of a new
beginning. Some customs have been around for centuries. Each culture
decorates their eggs according to the customs that have been handed down for
centuries. In all cultures, it remains true that “All life comes from an egg.” Eggs
have been dyed and eaten in Persia, Greece, Rome and ancient Egypt. The egg is
regarded as a representation of the universe and the continuation of life.

In Germany, the eggs are pierced at the end and the yolk blown into a bowl. The
now empty egg is dyed and hung from a tree as decoration.

Armenians decorate their eggs with pictures of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and other
religious icons.

Austrians attach ferns and other plants to the egg. After they are boiled, the
plants are removed and a white pattern is revealed on the shell.

In England, boys and men would go out on Easter Eve and travel through town
begging for eggs before performing an Easter play.

Belgium believes that the Bells of Rome bring the Easter Bunny and the eggs
together. Because all the bells are in Rome, they have the “Stille Zaterdag” or the
Silent Saturday.

Norwegians have an interesting way of celebrating Easter. After going skiing in
the mountains or decorating eggs for the baskets, they turn to solving murders.
All of the media have murder stories and the people tried to solve the mysteries.
TV, books, even milk cartons have some sort of murder story that needs to be
solved.

Americans have a well-known tradition as well. We travel to Washington DC to
roll decorated wooden eggs on the lawn of the White House and then pretend the
Easter Bunny hid them.




                                     Page 3 of 17
EASTER LILIES
The Bermuda Lily, with its large white blooms, symbolizes the pure new life that
comes from the Resurrection of Christ. Because they are shaped like trumpets,
the blooms are also symbolic of immortality. Church pulpits are often adorned
with lilies at Easter to remember loved ones.

In Roman mythology, the lily is associated with Juno, Queen of the Gods. When
Juno was feeding Hercules one day, she dropped some portion of the milk and it
fell to earth. Wherever the milk hit the ground, a gorgeous pure white lily would
rise up.

Bermuda Lilies were first located in Bermuda by Ms. Thomas Sargent in 1880.
She brought them back with her to Philadelphia. Real Easter Lilies are found in
Japan on the islands of Liuchiu Archipelago. They grow wild on the rocky coast.
The beautiful flowers were first collected by Carl Thunberg in 1777 and sent to
England around 1800. The bulbs found their way to the United States by 1930.
The flowers bloom around Easter in early spring. You will find them in most
Easter floral arrangements and in the church pulpits. A popular version of this
flower is the Lavender Calla Lily Plant.

Artists have for several centuries portrayed Gabriel the Angel as coming to the
Virgin Mary with a spray of lilies to announce that she would be Jesus' mother.

Sometimes known as the “White-robed Apostles of hope,” lilies were seen growing
in the Garden of Gethsemane after Jesus' agony on the cross. It is said that the
lilies grew up where each drop of His sweat fell to the ground in his final hours.

To keep them longer after Easter, you need to follow these suggestions. For the
blooms to last longer, snip out the yellow anthers once the flower opens. Pick
plants that only have 1-2 buds open. Don't place the plant in a hot window or in
direct sunlight.




                                    Page 4 of 17
EASTER TREES
Easter trees became a tradition in the United States just after the Civil War. In
Germany, the Ukraine, and Austria, the trees have been around longer. They
would decorate evergreens with painted eggs. Eggs represent rebirth, renewal,
and the resurrection.

The tree has gained rising popularity since the book “The Egg Tree” was
published. By Katherine Milhous, the book tells the story of a girl who finds her
grandmother's old eggs hidden in the attic. She takes them outside and hangs
them on the tree, and starts a wonderful new tradition in her family.

People use many different and colourful decorations on these trees. There are
hand-painted eggs, miniature baskets with eggs, miniature straw hats with
flowers attached, and a lot of ribbon used to hang each piece on the tree.
Generally speaking, most people use a Forsythia or Cherry tree because the
branches are the perfect ornament holders due to their crookedness.

Most of the eggs used have been blown out or had a pin inserted in one end. The
yolk is then blown out and the shell painted. Packed away carefully, these fragile
eggs can be used year after year.

Germans extend their decorations from the trees out to their gardens. So if you
get to travel in Germany during Easter, you will see the live trees and the gardens
decorated with colourful eggs. In some of their institutions such as an elderly
resting home, you can find their foyers decorated with eggs, rabbits, and a large
tree with baskets all around. If you look hard enough, you might spot a rooster
and hen too.

If your tree is inside, make sure to decorate underneath as well. Place some
rabbits and some egg baskets around the bottom of the tree. When the Easter
Bunny comes, he will go fill the baskets with good surprises.

You can also adorn your tree with other decorative pieces. Chickens, roosters,
little baskets, and eggs are always great. Find some garland to help in the festive
look. Use some garland made of small flowers or little rabbits. The sky is the
limit. Most importantly, have fun with your children deciding what will go on
your Easter tree.




                                    Page 5 of 17
IS EASTER BECOMING TOO COMMERCIALIZED?
Christmas is already commercialized. The stores have started decorating in
October now and have “Christmas in July” sales. Easter, it seems, is starting to
follow suit. The stores start placing displays right after Valentine's Day in
February.

Easter should be recognized as a Holy Day and the resurrection should be
celebrated.

Instead, we have stores open selling all kinds of items. It turns out we need a lot
of different things to celebrate Easter. We need a new fancy outfit complete with
a bonnet for the ladies. As for candy, we can munch on chocolate rabbits,
jellybeans of all flavours, and eggs with crème, caramel, and our favourite candy
bar flavour.

They even have ready-made Easter eggs for hanging on a tree. Some of these
eggs can be quite expensive, but most are quite affordable. They can make a
wonderful addition to your Easter decorations.

Looking through the advertisements in the Sunday paper, stores have plenty of
sales going on to coax customers into the store. Dresses and suits, Easter
baskets, candy, electronics, DVD's, furniture, and even big screen televisions are
all on sale. The highest priced basket was thirty dollars, but inside was a DVD,
popcorn, candy, and a gift card. There was not one egg in sight in the whole
basket. What happened to the simple basket of yesterday? The basket that had
a chocolate bunny, some eggs, a stuffed rabbit and some of that green grass.
Simplicity is often the best solution, but these days the baskets keep getting more
expensive with each passing year.

While all of these things are nice to have to celebrate Easter, everyone should also
take time to remember what the holiday is really about. They should remember
"What          it       signifies       and         who         it      represents."




                                     Page 6 of 17
EASTER AROUND THE GLOBE
In America, we have the Easter Bunny, Easter tree, all the candy and the eggs.
What about other nations? Do they celebrate Easter too?

Scotland children hard boil eggs and paint them on Easter Saturday. On Easter
Sunday, they take the eggs to the top of a tall hill and have a race to see whose
egg would get to the bottom first.

Hungarian kids trade hard boiled eggs and then see who can be the first to throw
a coin into the egg. It must stay in the egg and not just chip off the side of the
shell. Pennies and dimes work the best.

Bulgarians crack eggs after midnight on Easter Sunday. The first one is cracked
against the church wall, and then everyone chooses their own egg. Each egg is
cracked against another person's egg and the one left with an unbroken egg will
receive a year of good luck.

The Greeks have a unique tradition. Everyone gathers at the midnight service
and all the lights in the church are turned off. A priest comes in the church
doors with a lighted candle and goes to the front pew and lights one person's
candle. In turn, the one candle lights the rest of the candles in the church. This
represents the Light of the Resurrection and everyone receives it.

In Poland, the Easter basket is the highlight of the day. The older family
members make them for the younger ones. They are filled with Easter eggs,
homemade bread, ham, butter lamb, and Polish sausages.

The Finnish greet their friend and family by whisking them with small willow
twigs. This is done to wish them luck in the following year. Everyone had a turn
and then on Easter Sunday, they would exchange eggs, candies, or money to
repay the favour.

There are many more traditions, but they are all done to honour the resurrection
of Christ and celebrate his return to heaven.




                                    Page 7 of 17
EASTER EGGSTAVAGANZAS
 All around the United States, there are plenty of celebrations going on for Easter.
There are egg hunts, parades, and zoo festivities. Here are some of the more
popular ones:

April 7, 2007 Holy Saturday

New York Easter Egg Hunt in Central Park, 11AM – 3PM, Enter park at 72nd
Street for this free event.

The Great Metro zoo Egg Safari, Miami Metro zoo, For kids twelve and under, they
will have face painting, crafts, rock climbing, and the Easter Bunny will be
visiting too. You need to bring your own basket and the event is free with regular
admission price.

Hayes Easter Egg Roll, Fremont Ohio, 2PM – 330PM, The Rutherford B. Hayes
Presidential Centre stages an Easter Egg Roll at the Hayes' home. Kids from
three to ten must bring at least three hard boiled eggs to use in the games.

April 8, 2007 Easter Sunday

Richmond Virginia Easter Parade, 1PM – 5PM, Fifty thousand people line up on
historic Monument Avenue to enjoy this free festival. The festivities include
clowns, face painters, good food, music, and even an Easter bonnet contest.

Asheville North Carolina Easter Egg Hunt, There are three different hunts at
different times during the day. The Biltmore House has one of the largest hunts
in the United States. Thousands of kids come every year to hunt eggs and win
prizes.

New Orleans Easter Parade, Two parades through the French Quarter make this
an event you don't want to miss.

April 9, 2007 Easter Monday

White House Easter Egg Roll, 8AM-2PM, Wooden collared eggs are rolled down
the lawn from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the other. The roll attracts
some fifty thousand visitors each year. The tradition dates back almost one
hundred twenty five years ago when Rutherford B. Hayes first opened the White
House Lawn for Easter.



National Zoo Easter Egg Hunt, This free celebration dates back to 1889 when the
zoo was first opened. The festivities include and Easter egg hunt, African
drumming, storytelling, and children's dance troupes.




                                     Page 8 of 17
CAN RABBITS REALLY LAY EGGS
Apparently, the Easter Bunny can. He brings baskets of eggs to all the good little
children. Along with the basket, Mr. Bunny adds some other candy and gifts for
the special child. There is also a colourful assortment of eggs – Red, Blue, Green,
Yellow, Speckled, Chocolate, Creme-Filled, Marbled, and Rainbow.

How did this whole story start? What made the Easter bunny keep laying eggs?
How does the hare fit into the story at all?

According to ancient legend, the Easter Bunny was once a large beautiful bird
that belonged to Eostre, a goddess. She was symbolic of spring and fertility, and
a festival was celebrated on the Vernal Equinox in her honour. Eostre decided
one day to change her beloved bird into a hare. Because the hare is still a bird at
heart, he continues to lay eggs in a nest. Hares and rabbits also serve as
representations of abundant new life in the season of spring. It is actually a hare
that symbolizes Easter.

Jakob Grimm made a correlation in 1835. He made a connection between
Osterhase (Easter Bunny) and Easter Eggs to the goddess Eostre. Critics say
that there is an etymological relation between the words Eostre and the word for
East. They also say it could mean something other than the goddess herself. So
it is anybody's guess.

Some stories also say the hare is a representation of fertility. Religions from
around the world associate the rabbit with the moon because of human and
lunar rhythms.

There are other bunnies just as famous as the Easter Bunny such as Brer Rabbit
and the Briar Patch, Peter Rabbit who was created by Beatrix Potter, Bugs Bunny
created in the late 1930's, and Peter Cottontail which was written in the 1950's.
None of these are as well-known or eagerly awaited for each Easter morning.




                                    Page 9 of 17
DESIGNING YOUR EASTER EGG
Boil, Boil, Boil your eggs first. Did I mention boiling the eggs? If you don't, the
yolks can become hard, dry and green-tinged. That makes for a very ugly egg, so
boil them first.

When colouring your egg, you can buy a colouring kit or make your own with
food colouring. It depends on how adventurous you are and how much time you
have.

First, cover the table with plastic or paper so the dyes don't stain the wood. Don't
forget you need one cup for each colour, extra if you are planning on mixing
colours together. After you paint the first coat, give the egg plenty of time to dry
before adding a second coat or design to the egg. Empty egg cartons can be used
for drying or a dish rack where you set plates out to dry. Paper towels and
rubber gloves are optional, but they can help with getting less stain all over the
table and the kids.

After they are dry, apply design or second coat of colour. If using design, find all
kinds of different stamps or stencils, flowers, pieces of wire, leaves, pine cones,
and lots of colour. Make sure no two eggs are alike. The vibrant colours of the
eggs symbolize the sunlight of spring. Make your eggs sparkle with glitter or
other shiny beads. Some kids like to colour or design on a piece of paper and
then wrap the egg in the paper. It is really up to your own imagination as to what
you can do with your egg.

After you get them designed, let them dry completely and then hang them on your
tree or get them hid in preparation for Easter. Pack them away carefully for use
with next year's fabulous creations.




                                    Page 10 of 17
EASTER BASKET IDEAS
What does one place in Easter baskets for different age groups? Does it have to
be candy and chocolate rabbits? Does it have to eggs and jellybeans? According
to modern times, the answer is No. Taking a poll of people is always interesting
because you never know how it will turn out. Here are some of the answers
received when I asked “What do you place in an Easter basket?

”Books – Some kids and adults love to read. Why not encourage them by getting
a favourite novel?

CD's and DVD's – These fit nicely in baskets and will last longer than the
chocolate eggs.

Movie tickets – So you yourself can have a nice quiet Easter at home. Let the
kids go out and paint the town.

Toiletries – Shampoo, Soap, Deodorant, and Lotions all make a great smelling
basket and loved one.

Candles and Bubble Bath – For the special lady to sit back and relax on Easter
night.

Money – This is always a great idea according to my son.

Clothes – Bulky, but you can always place the items in a box underneath the
basket.

Socks and Booties – These help keep the feet toasty warm on the winter nights.

Candy – Use this sparingly as filler between the items in the basket. You must
also include at least one chocolate rabbit.

Video Games – These also fit in the baskets and can help the kids spend what
would be a boring     afternoon waiting for Easter dinner to be done to have
loads of fun instead.

Jewellery – My favourite and always a winning idea.

Crafts and Fabric – For the artsy person in your life, they will have several ideas
what to do with it the second they see it.

Disposable Cameras – For taking pictures, and most importantly, to make some
lasting memories.

Bible – Perhaps the most needed thing, so you can read the Easter story to the
kids.

Oodles of ideas, but you only have one small basket. Choices are quite hard to
make sometimes.


                                    Page 11 of 17
EASTER CANDY
The Delicacies of Easter

Way back in the seventies, Easter was celebrated with a basket and some hidden
eggs. Sure they had Marshmallow chicks and chocolate rabbits, but it was
nothing like the delicacies of today.

Today we have all colours of marshmallow chicks, all flavours of jellybeans, and
all kinds of eggs to delight our taste buds. There are so many delicious candies
to choose and try.

Marshmallow candy used to be made mostly of small yellow chicks, now we have
pink and yellow chick and blue rabbits. A nice bit of fluff in every bite,
marshmallow candies have been popular for years.

Jellybeans are a colourful decoration to any basket. The beans have also
changed over the years. They used to be simple flavours like orange, lemon, lime,
and cherry. Now you can have fruit flavoured, sour, or a mixed flavour bean. All
of these beans make your mouth water for more.

Heavenly chocolate eggs are the cornerstone of Easter treats. There are chocolate
eggs and rabbits that we remember from the good old days, but balancing that
out are the caramel, creme, and peanut butter eggs.

Chocolate rabbits are also a staple in the Easter candy department. There are
hollow rabbits as well as rabbits filled with creme. Some of these are so huge you
could never eat the whole thing in one sitting.

Malted robin's eggs make a tasty snack. There are just malted balls covered with
a colourful shell. They are soft and crunchy at the same time which adds to their
charm.

How do you choose between so many scrumptious treats? Easter is a holiday like
no other when it comes to wonderful treats. With so many to choose from, you
won't be able to try them all before Easter is over. Sadly, you must wait until the
next year.




                                    Page 12 of 17
HERE COMES THE EASTER BUNNY AND LAMB
We see many representations of the coming holiday. While some are widely
known, a few are not. Take a moment to see which ones you do know.

Easter Bunny – The hare is one of the most adorable and well known symbols of
Easter. Children wait to catch a glimpse of him hopping to their house with a
basket full of goodies.

Easter Candles – White candles are lit on Easter Sunday and for the next forty
days to symbolize Jesus' return to life. They are usually extinguished on
Ascension Day.

Easter Lamb – The meek creature represents the death of Jesus as a lamb was
sacrificed on that first Passover. Hence, Jesus became known as the “Lamb of
God.”

Easter Lily – Gorgeous when blooming, this white flower represents purity and
the resurrection of Christ. Immortality is symbolized by the trumpet shaped
bulb.

Hot Cross Buns – Pastry baked in England and served as traditional breakfast on
Good Friday. They are so named for the icing across the top of the bun; it
reminds people of the crucifixion. If you kept a hot cross bun from one Good
Friday to the next, it was thought that you would have good luck all year long.

Whale – Jonah himself spent three days in the belly of a whale before being spit
out. Paralleling with the Easter story, Jesus spent three days in the tomb and
rose on the third day.

Sunrise Services – A gathering filled with rites performed at the Vernal Equinox.
People welcome the sun and its power to bring new life into the world.

So how many did you know? I hope you learned a new one about this most
wonderful holiday that comes in the spring, and be on the watch for the hare who
will be bearing gifts.




                                   Page 13 of 17
EASTER ON THE WHITE HOUSE LAWN
An annual family event, kids go hunting for eggs hidden all over the White House
Grounds. Then they get to race the colourful wooden eggs on the White House
Lawn from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the other end. Rutherford B.
Hayes first opened the grounds to local children in 1878. Since then, all
Presidents invite children to the egg rolling festivities each Easter. The Easter
Bunny will also make an appearance, but is never allowed to be seen without his
head. One of the White House Staff dresses up each year as the bunny. Ursula
Meese, wife of President Reagan's Attorney General Edwin Meese, enjoyed the job
for six years. She was known as the “Meester Bunny.”

Kids can also enjoy face painting, egg colouring, magicians, music, and reading
corners. At each of the corners, storytelling is done by authors of popular
children's books, Cabinet and Senior Administration members, and athletes.

This year, the Easter festivities are April 9 from 8AM-2PM at the White House.
Small allotments of tickets will be given out at 730AM on April 9. The National
Park Service will also be distributing free tickets. As long as you have a seven
year old or younger with your group, you can get a maximum of five tickets.
Tickets are first come, first served and can also be gotten from the Ellipse Visitor
Pavilion at the Southwest corner of 15th and E Streets.

If you look carefully at some of the eggs, you will notice an egg from every state in
the nation. This tradition started in 1994. The American Egg Board handles all
the eggs and gets them ready for the big day.

When the Easter Egg Roll has to be cancelled due to inclement weather, it can be
relocated to the National Zoo or the Capitol building. The longest they went
without having an egg roll was during World War II. President Eisenhower
brought back the tradition in 1953 and another generation was able to
participate in the Easter tradition.




                                     Page 14 of 17
USING LEFTOVER EGGS FROM EASTER
Leftover eggs can be numerous at my house, because we usually overshoot how
many we really need. If you have the same problem, here are some suggestions
for those unused eggs:

Hard boiled eggs – Shell the egg and eat it. Nothing like a good boiled egg with a
little pepper    on it.

Egg Salad – Just add some mustard, mayonnaise and some dill and you have a
wonderful sandwich spread.

Devilled Eggs – Shell the eggs, take out the yolks and mix with some mustard
powder,      mayonnaise, and salt and pepper. Take the mixture and spoon back
into one half of an egg white. Sprinkle some paprika decoratively on top. You
can also change the filling and use avocado or seafood.

Salads – Shell the eggs and dice up both yellow and white parts to make a nice
garnish.

Potato Salad – This will use up many more eggs that are left.       Mix in some
potatoes, mustard,    relish, and onion for a great treat.

Meatloaf – Place the hard-boiled egg in the centre of the meatloaf for a big
surprise or chop up   the leftover eggs and add to the meatloaf mixture.

Chip Dip – Cream leftover eggs, about 7-8, with cream cheese in a blender. Add
onions, salsa,  or chives for a great tasting dip.

Hot Pickled eggs – Use the liquid from jar of jalapeños or other peppers. Place
the eggs in the juice and let set for a week.

Asparagus – This tasty vegetable is sometimes served with butter and diced egg.

Casseroles – Mix leftover eggs with mashed potatoes, cheese, butter and chives.
Also, take some chicken, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots and add in a few
eggs. Both will give you a scrumptious dinner that is easy to make.

Leftover eggs can be used in a number of ways. Take your culinary skills and go
from there.




                                   Page 15 of 17
Easter Quiz
What holiday is always celebrated the first Sunday following the full moon that
appears near the Spring Equinox?



Germany originated the legend of what bunny?



The wooden eggs used at the White House Egg Roll are in honour of what day?



The metamorphosis of the butterfly represents eternal life and is seen with which
holiday?



More than 1 billion eggs are hunted all over the United States on this holiday.



Holiday at the end of the Lenten season and begins on Ash Wednesday and
covers forty-six days.



Which holiday is known as Ostern in German, Isuta in Japanese, and Eseta in
Samoan?



Kids decorate hard boiled eggs in preparation for what holiday?



Stores sell jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, marshmallow candy, and creme eggs
for this holiday.



Eggs are hidden by the bunny over Saturday night so the kids can find them the
next day which is this holiday.



Finnish people enjoy a dish called Mammi on this holiday.



It is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.

                                      Page 16 of 17
There used to be just marshmallow chicks, now we have eggs and rabbits for this
holiday as well.



This holiday is named after the goddess, Eostre, who changed her beloved bird
into a hare. The hare being a bird at heart still lay eggs in his nest.



The beautiful white lily is supposed to bloom around this holiday.



Trees decorated with eggs became a tradition in America just after the Civil War.



Palm Sunday is one week before this holiday.



You must boil the egg you are going to paint for this holiday.



“The Egg Tree” written by Katherine Milhous explained the tradition of decorating
trees with eggs was about this holiday.



If you answered “Easter” to all of these, you are way ahead of the rest of the
bunnies coming down the trail.




                                                       ISBN: 978-1-4475-0340-8




                                    Page 17 of 17

								
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