Now I know that most of you are most familiar with the concept of Easter, but did you know that the word “Easter” is derived from the old Anglo-Saxon word Eostre, or Eostrae – the goddess of spring and fertility – was recorded from as far back as the 6th century!
Some historians believe that Easter comes from the old German word – eostarum!
What we can agree on however, is that all over the world, Easter is significant in many different forms.
If that isn’t a recipe for peace, I don’t know what is!
But you know, I’m not here to talk about spiritual matters.
Oh dear me no!
I’m here to talk about items associated with Easter.
One of the most common symbols of Easter, is the Easter egg.
Easter eggs originate from European pagan festivals.
These festivals celebrated spring, new life and birth.
Not only that but the act of decorating eggs began as far back as the 13th century!
In fact, decorating eggs are so popular that in Germany, people hang their painted eggs on trees!
As do we!
Another symbol of Easter is the Easter Egg Hunt or Egg Rolling.
Basically, the eggs are hidden in the garden or fields, and the children have to find them.
One year, we actually forgot one of the eggs that I had so craftily hidden, and couldn’t find it!
But not to worry!
We found it 2 years later, hidden in the leaves of a vine!
And don’t get me started on the Easter Bunny!
In actual fact, the Easter Bunny originated from Germany and was known as the Osterhase or Easter Hare!
This hare / rabbit was exceptional, as it could lay colourful eggs, so children were encouraged to build a nest and leave carrots, so that the fabled rabbit could bring sweets and chocolate on Easter morning.
Which obviously, it did!
The Easter basket also known as a Paschal basket, is a basket that contains the foods that weren’t allowed during the fasting festival of Lent.
This basket would have been filled with meat, eggs, and dairy products blessed by a priest.
Nowadays, the Easter basket is stuffed with items such as chocolate Easter eggs, cold meats, cheese, Easter bread and sweets!
The Easter Lamb.
Lamb is one of my favourite meals, so I can’t wait to get my teeth into it!
Historically, lamb would have been one of the most likely meat sources available after winter, as the lambs are born in Spring!
Lambs are adorable, but they still taste yum.
A variety of cakes and breads are traditionally eaten, all over Europe!
The practice of eating Easter bread or sweetened bread, can be traced to the Byzantium and Orthodox Christian church, and even as far back as the 3rd century inn Ancient Rome and Greece!
In Germany, a yeasty dough bread is made with almonds and raisins. This bread is called Osterbrot or Easter bread!
But I can’t tell you what it tastes like, as it’s got nuts in it!
Simnel cake is a fruitcake eaten in Ireland and the UK, and covered with layers of marzipan!
It is usually eaten on Mothering Sunday, Simnel Sunday, or Easter Sunday, and is easily recognisable as it has eleven (11) marzipan balls on the top layer!
But I can’t eat that either!
In the UK, hot-cross buns can be found around Springtime, and has been around since the 6th century!
Hot cross buns is a round or square-ish sweet bun made of raisins, sultanas, spices, and orange peel, with a cross on it made out of almonds or icing!
You toast it, and have it with lashings of butter, topped with cream and jam.
In fact, we even have a nursery rhyme / song about Hot Cross Buns that existed from 1733 – 1767, which we still sing today!
Easter flowers such as daffodils, tulips, and lilies, are all flowers that are grown from bulbs, symbolising rebirth and hope!
In fact, our kitchen daffodils started growing after Christmas!
And I can’t even remember when I actually planted the ones in the garden!
But I’m always delighted to see them!
What more do you need to know?
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