Showing posts with label Easter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Easter. Show all posts

Mar 25, 2016

Happy Easter 2016

Here are a few events that take place around the world leading up to and on Easter.

Semana Santa is held within cities across Spain and Mexico. It means Holy Week, the period leading up to Easter Sunday. All shops and stores except restaurants close and the entire city is transformed. Fifty five different churches take part in the festival, parading large floats that resemble Jesus in some way. The floats make their way from their church of origin to the cathedral, and then back again. It draws tourists from all over the world.

The Epitáphios Threnos is a tradition in Greek Orthodox religions that is held on Good Friday. It means Lamentation at the Tomb, and is in essence a funeral service to respect the death of Jesus by re-enacting the way he was buried after his crucifixion. It takes place in churches, where an epitaphios is placed atop something representing the tomb of Christ. The epitaphios is a highly-adorned piece of cloth that represents the shroud Jesus was wrapped in. The tomb is decorated with flower petals and rosewater. Interactions with this tomb vary depending on tradition. Some will hold it over the church entrance so that believers pass under it, a symbol of entering the grave alongside Christ.

The Easter Ham story states that a wicked queen named Ishtar (became root of Easter) gave birth to a son called Tammuz. This son would become a hunter, but his career was cut short when he was killed by a wild pig. Ishtar then designated a forty day period (the source of Lent) to mark the anniversary of Tammuz's death. During this time, no meat was to be eaten. Every year, on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, a celebration was made. Ishtar also proclaimed that because a pig killed Tammuz, that a pig must be eaten on that Sunday.

Another theory states that, while lamb was usually the go-to dish for its symbolism with Passover, ham would be used because pigs were considered a symbol of good luck. Another source gives a more practical approach. Before the invention of refrigeration, pigs were slaughtered in the fall and preserved during winter. Should some of the meat not be consumed during the winter months, it would be cured so it could be eaten during springtime around Easter, making it an ideal dish for the season.

In the United Kingdom, a select few people are given money the day before Good Friday. These coins, known as Maundy Money, have a long history. It began when Jesus gave the command, “That ye love one another” after he washed the feet of his disciples. This became a fourth century tradition where the poor have their feet washed and are given clothes. This stopped around the eighteenth century, and was replaced by an allowance to give the poor a chance to buy food and clothing. Today, a selection of elders receive a red and white purse. The red one contains legal currency, while the white one contains special symbolic Maundy coins. The people are selected by the amount of Christian service they have performed. This year, the Queen handed out commemorative Maundy coins in a traditional royal service at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Ninety men and ninety women, representing her 90 years, were presented with the coins in recognition of service to the Church and community. The red purse contained a £5 coin, commemorating the Queen's 90th birthday, and a 50p coin commemorating the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. The white purse contains one, two, three and four silver penny pieces, which add up to the Queen's age.

Haux Omelets are made every year on Easter Monday, the residents of Haux, France create a large omelet. They can be three yards wide to feed 1,000 people. One year’s omelet consisted of 5,211 eggs, 21 quarts of oil, 110 pounds of bacon, onion and garlic.

Every Easter in Bacup, England, The Britannia Coco-Nut Dancers, or Nutters, perform a folk dance from one town boundary to the other. What makes these dancers unique is their blackened faces, but no one is sure of their origins. It might be from medieval times to hide the faces of those who participated to stop evil spirits from getting their revenge, or it may have ties to the mining industry. The Nutters blackened faces have no racial aspect.

Apr 3, 2015

Easter Eggs

Decorated eggs predate Easter and have been found as early as 60,000 years ago. About 3000 BC in Persia, eggs were dyed red given as gifts in celebration of the first day of spring.

The practice of giving red Easter eggs, symbolizing the blood of Christ, became a Christian tradition, with the hatching of an egg symbolizing the resurrection. The Easter egg is also a byproduct of Lent, as many families would give up eggs during those fast days, which ended with Easter.

Some of the oldest egg dyes were made from a variety of materials, including onion peels, tree bark, flower petals, and vegetable and fruit juices.

Cadbury sells over 200 million cream eggs each year in the UK. More than three for each person who lives there.

The PAAS Dye Co. launched its product during the 1880s. The first packets contained five colors for 5 cents. The company now claims to sell more than 10 million kits annually including dyes, paints, stickers, glitter, etc.

In some European countries, children go from house to house to collect eggs.

The White House Easter Egg Roll, an annual tradition on the Monday after Easter, is the only time that tourists are allowed to gather on the White House lawn. The tradition actually started on the lawn of the Capitol, by Dolly Madison during the early 1800s, and was moved to the White House in 1878, when Rutherford B. Hayes was president.

Many Easter eggs are formed from chocolate. In Scotland, a popular treat sold in fish-and-chips shops is deep-fried chocolate eggs.

The most valuable Easter eggs are the jewel-encrusted Fabergé eggs, crafted in the late 1800s and early 1900s as Easter gifts for the families of Russian czars. Only 65 were known to have been made. Most are worth millions of dollars.

The world's largest Easter egg, as recognized by Guinness World Records, was made of chocolate in 2005 in Belgium and weighed 1,200 kilograms or more than 2,600 pounds.

The term for intentional inside joke, hidden message, author's names, or feature in a work such as a computer program, video game, movie, book, or crossword is Easter Egg. The term was coined at Atari after a programmer put his name in a hidden room in the game Adventure, released in 1979. The name evokes an Easter egg hunt.

Apr 18, 2014

Easter Coincidence

Easter Sunday, April 20. Observed in all Western Christian churches, Easter commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus. It is celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or next after the vernal equinox (fixed at March 21) and is therefore celebrated between March 22 and April 25 inclusive. This date was fixed by the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325.

Orthodox Easter (Pascha), Sun., April 20. The Orthodox Church uses the Julian calendar when calculating Easter, rather than the more contemporary Gregorian calendar. For this reason, Orthodox Easter generally falls on a different date than the Western Christian Easter, except this year the days coincide.

Mar 29, 2013

Easter

The Easter Bunny, at least as we know it today, first appeared in 16th century writings in Germany. In the 1700s, Pennsylvania Dutch settlers brought the tradition of the Easter Bunny with them to the US. Their children believed that if they were good, the Easter Bunny would come and lay eggs and treats into nests the children made out of upturned hats and bonnets.

It is believed that the tradition of hiding Easter eggs was first started in Southern Germany. While the legend of the Easter Bunny laying eggs in the grass had been around for sometime, the Germans decided to have children hunt for the eggs in hard to see places. Happy Easter!

Apr 22, 2011

Fun Uses for Eggs

This is the time of year we all think about eggs, like decorating eggs with and for the children, deviled eggs, Easter egg hunts, and more. Eggs are very versatile and there are a number of uses for eggs that are worth mentioning, such as using eggs for shampoo and face cleaner.

Egg whites can be used in place of white glue for children's projects. Egg whites can be mixed with the other ingredients to make paper mache.

Cascarones, pronounced kas-ka-ron-ez, are a Mexican tradition used for Easter and other celebrations. It is an egg shell filled with confetti used to crack over someone's head and shower them with the confetti inside. Great fun and and always a surprise.

The Japanese are masters at carving intricate designs and pictures in egg shells, while the Ukrains dye elaborate designs using wax and dye.

How about a plant starter. cut the tops off of egg shells and put them back in the carton. Fill with potting soil, add a seed, some water, and you have useful plant starters, complete with tray.

If you have way too much time or way too much money, you can make or buy a Faberge egg.
There are thousands of other uses, but thought i would provide a few, just for fun.
A school in Seattle this year had the political audacity to call Easter eggs, 'spring spheres'. It didn't work, when the person brought in eggs, the children all said, "oh, Easter eggs." Eggzactly!

Apr 15, 2011

Easter Painting

This is the time of the year to share this one, although it would be as beautiful anytime, even for the non-religious. LINK   It is a portrait of the Resurrection, painted in larger than life size (12  by 40 feet) The artist, Ron DiCianni, tells how and why he did it. BTW it was unveiled last year in the museum of biblical art Dallas. His works have sold in the millions when made into prints. Enjoy!