"Happy Easter, Happy Spring"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, March 29, 2013

It’s time to celebrate! Easter combines many events.

In our country, the most common is Christianity. Easter is believed to be the day church services are most attended. Praise and celebration of the resurrection of Jesus the third day after his crucifixion are the highlight of services.

The date Easter falls each year is not set by a calendar. It is said to be set on the first Sunday after or on the first full moon after the spring equinox as set in the year 325 — always between March 22 and April 25. (Did you follow all that?) Easter fell in March this year but will not be until April 20 next year.

Although Easter is celebrated as the most popular Christian holiday it is also recognized as a pagan celebration of spring by Germanic tribes. The Easter Bunny actually dates back to the 1700s when German immigrants arrived in America and introduced their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Oschter Haws.”

History suggests Easter precedes Christianity. But the rabbit, the beginning of spring, the colored eggs, Easter bonnets, baskets and even the peeps go back as far as medieval times. Like all history, the further back it goes the less accurate it becomes with much controversy.

Coloring eggs as an Easter tradition began in the 13th century when pagans boiled eggs laid during the Lenten season to preserve them. They would hide them because they were forbidden to eat them during Lent. At the end of the fasting period, they decorated and ate them at Easter as a celebration.

The many traditions and tales surrounding Easter seem beyond belief, but I know the holiday always provided many great activities in my family. I recall a year during my childhood while coloring eggs the hard boiled ones got mixed with the fresh ones. There were many chuckles in the following days after the holiday, especially when making egg salad.

Hiding the eggs was always a big event with my children along with the hiding of baskets filled with once-a-year treats. One year I hid a basket upstairs behind the kid’s beds and they rushed down so fast they did not see it. Much later, after an exhaustive search of the house, that final basket was found.

Dressing up for church and going to Grandma’s for dinner was a tradition shared by many families, including mine. Back in those days, Easter bonnets were quite the style and all the ladies wore them. The egg hunt was always a highlight, and each year the kids failed to find them all right away. They would turn up as the days went by but when one that had been cracked got hid in a shoe, it put up quite a stink!

As I see it, Easter is one of the most memorable days of the year for many families. I wish you and your families a very Happy Easter and memorable gathering — and may all the eggs be found!





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