Another Easter has passed by meaning we are well on our way to summer; hope you have all eaten lots of chocolate. The diet will have to start soon. I had an addiction to Caramel Bunnies in the lead up to Easter as I have done in previous years and then my other half bought me a large Caramel Bunnies egg. Once this has gone though, the bikini diet must start in earnest, now that I only have 5 weeks to lose more weight than I care to mention! My partner and I are going to try a scheme that my Uncle created where we have a sin box; meaning every time we eat something unnecessary i.e. chocolate, biscuits, cake etc. we place 50p in a money box. The first one to reach our target weight loss keeps the pot.
Queuing up in a rammed Tesco on Good Friday where we eventually abandoned our trolley and left – I started to wonder whether as a nation we have forgotten the true meaning of Easter as well as some of the symbolism behind customs we continue. Despite it being the most important Christian Festival, people in society today seem to place far more importance and preparation on Christmas. On Good Friday we remember the crucifixion of Jesus and on Sunday we celebrate his resurrection. Probably one of the things people find the most confusing about Easter is the fact that unlike Christmas, it is a moveable festival. Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the full moon and as such Easter varies between 22nd March and 25thApril in the Gregorian calendar (i.e. that of the West). It is also related to Passover. Last year Easter was very late at the end of April and that was when I moved in with my partner so I have now almost lived there a year – how time flies when you are having fun! Shoes and other things still remain at my Mums however but I did pack up a bit more when I went for dinner Easter Sunday. My partner refers to my bedroom at my Mums as a Tardis!
That of course also means that come the beginning of May, this blog will be a year old. I am so glad I started this and greatly enjoy writing it as I hope you enjoy reading it. I am hoping to get to 2000 hits before the day but I think I’m being optimistic somehow. It has been exciting however to see how my blog is read all over the world and thanks to so many of you who have been kind enough to subscribe to it.
Anyway I digress. Back to Easter. Now the word Easter was probably derived from the old English word Eastre or Eostre and in some countries it is called Pascha, deriving from Latin. Eostre was the goddess of fertility and new beginnings and pagans held feasts in her honour. Catholics will have an Easter Vigil on the Saturday night, following Good Friday, which is seen as a good time of year for converts to be baptised due to the symbolism of rebirth in the fact that Christ rose again on Easter Sunday. Traditionally hot cross buns are eaten hot on Good Friday. The cross symbolises the crucifixion. There is some suggestion that in Saxon times the cross symbolised the four quarters of the moon and that therefore they were eaten to pay homage to the goddess Eostre. Legend has it that if you share a hot cross bun with someone it will guarantee friendship for the coming year. I always eat them for my breakfast on Good Friday and also keep to the tradition of only eating fish on the day. This comes from the fact that Friday’s during Lent should be days of abstinence because Christ died on a Friday. Meat was selected as the item to abstain from as centuries ago it was considered to be a luxury. Lent is the 40 days (excluding Sundays) proceeding Easter which begins on Ash Wednesday. Traditionally this is a fasting period to pray and prepare for the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus when no meat or dairy (including eggs) was allowed. In modern times, many Christians just give up a luxury such as chocolate. I am ashamed to say that I didn’t give up anything this year. Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday) was a time to use up food that was in the store cupboard before the fast, which is where the tradition of eating pancakes came from. The Easter egg may have therefore been a celebration of the end of Lent when eggs could be eaten again and there may have been a large surplus of eggs because of the period of abstaining from them. The egg is also seen to symbolise new life and therefore Christ’s resurrection. In some Orthodox churches, eggs are dyed red as a symbol of Christ’s blood, with the shell representing the tomb and the cracking, the resurrection. Dyed or painted chicken eggs would have been given years ago but nowadays we tend to think of Easter eggs in terms of chocolate eggs. Other customs include an Easter egg hunt for children and the legend that the Easter Bunny has brought them, much like Santa brings the presents at Christmas. It was in fact a hare in the legend though and not a bunny. A reference to the Easter hare bringing eggs can be found as far back as 1682 and may have been due to Protestants wanting to keep the custom of egg giving without reference to the Catholic fasting during Lent. The Easter bunny was introduced to the USA in the 18th century by German immigrants who said to their children that only if they were good, would they receive eggs. Bunnies are also a great symbol of fertility given their large litters and short gestation periods. Here is a picture of my very own Easter Bunny.
So hopefully you are all now a bit more informed about Easter traditions. This being the season of rebirth, perhaps I can be reborn thinner??!! To end on a fashion note, why not embrace the spring feel and wear floral or lemon or even both together. I couldn’t resist this top from New Look.
I thought it was very Louis Vuitton as seen on Kate Moss at Paris Fashion Week.
Enough from me now, I must get back to my Caramel Bunnies!