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What’s the one thing you look forward to most on Easter?
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This is the easiest answer ever. Candy. There are two times a year when the candy is a must have: Halloween and Easter. There’s just something about the candy at those times. It tastes better, smells better, and even sounds better. The rest of the year, I am not that interested (unless it’s one of those Godiva raspberry cordials in dark chocolate).
What could possibly create this odd perception about candy at these times? It might have to do with the baskets my parent’s put together for me and my brother. They contained a stuffed rabbit and maybe two other toys, but they were nested in green plastic grass and hip deep in jelly beans, Reese’s eggs, chocolate eggs, peeps, and I can’t even remember. Then they were wrapped in the prettiest purple cellophane and a ribbon. Sometimes they would hide the basket, sometimes not.
We didn’t do to much about the Christian veneer that was slapped onto Easter, but from what you see above, we paid more attention to the original meanings behind the holiday. I did get to go to church on a couple Easter Sundays and see what it was all about, including dressing up. I can still smell the incense, and see the procession overseen by Father Park (who is now retired) in the same church my parents were married in: Bethesda Episcopal of Saratoga. It is still one of the loveliest churches I have ever seen.
Sweet-tarts bunnies, chicks, and duckies! That was the other thing.
Speaking of bunnies, chicks, duckies—the basket and all the accouterments are symbolic of the fertility rites of the new spring that was celebrated by non-christian Europeans (these rites do show up around the world, but not always associated with the northern hemisphere spring). The church that evolved in Europe struggled to find ways to keep people coming back, and used established holidays to do so. They would appropriate them and associate them with figures from the scripture. Eventually, after a long time and writings done to ensure the erasure of history, people forgot and abided the new status quo. To this day, we still have writers trying to ensure that erasure remains in place, focused on preserving the church and the bible. Adherents would do better by flushing their beliefs clear of all those things, and finding the roots again, because none of it benefits the faith in the first place.
But, traditions are traditions and folks will want to keep them because they enjoyed them. That is there absolute right. I’m going to totally hang onto Easter treats and I’ll definitely make baskets for my little one once she’s old enough. In that, I’ll also teach her about our ancestors and where it all came from, along with it’s appropriation by other groups. The historian in me is compelled.
Let’s see what the other authors look forward to on Easter. Will it be fantastic dinners? Getting together with families? The traditions of Sunday morning services?
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