Easter…Easter…Easter….mmmmmmm….it doesn’t do a lot for me I must admit especially as I’ve only just done Christmas, or that’s how feels anyway. I know I’m being a spoilsport and of course I would never say this to my children but really I think we’ve had enough chocolates and sweets this year, it’s time for something different, a new kind of celebration with different expectations of the event. Songs, poems, family dancing or perhaps we should try to celebrate this year in the way that another country does, I know that they eat even huger amounts of sticky things over the pond but it would be interesting to enforce a temporary change of celebratory activity, I need to re-engage my children asyoungest privately told his Grandpa last night that he didn’t really believe that Jesus had risen from the dead on Easter Sunday as “that’s just not possible” BUT that “he probably did die on the cross like they say.”
So, let’s see……..
On Sunday morning in Poland, beautifully laid tables are covered with colored eggs, cold meats, coils of sausages, ham, yeast cakes, pound cakes, poppy-seed cakes, and in the middle of it all, a lamb made of sugar, commemorating the resurrected Christ, but no smoke is permitted; therefore no warm meals are served. Sharing a boiled egg with one’s relatives is a national tradition. A piece of egg with salt and pepper, consecrated by priest, is an inseparable accessory in the good wishes we extend to each other at Easter.
For Ireland, Easter-time is rich with traditions, the overlapping and commingling of centuries of ritual celebrating rebirth, resurrection, salvation and everlasting life. Many of the traditions surrounding Easter in Ireland are universal to the Christian world. Others – such as the dawn dance, the herring funeral, and the cake dance – are distinctly Celtic, and many hark back to the traditions of pre-Christian times.
On Easter Sunday in Italy, all members of the family exchange Easter eggs, which can also be made especially for the occasion containing special gifts that are placed inside the egg. On Easter Sunday morning, each family usually eats a breakfast of salami, eggs, a special cheese cake and the traditional ”colomba” – a sweet cake which contains almonds and candied fruits. On Easter Monday, everybody goes out for a picnic or by the sea and many families eat lamb, broad beans and a strong sheep’s milk cheese.
France has held on to its traditions by giving eggs (chocolate nowadays) on Easter day, which is related to the renewal of nature in spring time. It has also been related to the end of fast period, a period during which no eggs could be eaten, creating abundance thereafter. Louis XIV gave eggs gilded with gold to his sycophants. They were filled with “surprises” and the tradition remains until today. It is also the symbol of resurrection in Christian religions.
So there we have it, a few examples of what goes on in other countries over the next few days! I think we might try Easter 2012 the Italian way in our house because of the tonnage of food involved, I know I said no more food but their celebrations include a picnic by the sea (husband will go ballistic!) broad beans and some very strong sheep’s milk cheese. Producing that lot on the Easter table will surely bring a smile to my lips if no-one elses!!
Happy Easter everyone!