THE HISTORY OF EASTER
Easter and Spring
and the world around you gets geared up to go ga ga on a festive spree. Some skeptics might shrug off the March madness fray,
but can't beat the freak it rolls out of its season of rejuvenation, rejoice and renewal that ushers in with a basketful of
new promises and gifts in galore. The nature discards its weary look to donn a brand new outfit. The shining sun showers its
blissful warmth, as if, to thwart the frosted blanket which the winter wraps around us. The brook turns bubbly. The blooming
tulips, the crocuses and the daffodils - all swayed by the cool southie breeze, bring back the vibe on earth.
can be a better day for fun and fiesta? To have your family reunited? Friendship and love renewed? And feelings shared?
all these traits have made spring and celebrations almost synonymous. That too from the dawn of human history.
the Greek mythology, Demeter and Persephone, convey the idea of a goddess returning seasonally from the nether regions to
the light of the day. This is in conjunction with the vernal equinox, March 21, when nature is in resurrection after the winter.
Even Easter - the grand occasion that reminds you of the golden and crimson eggs and chocolate bunnies, the ho'cross buns,
is also a spring time festival. As if the Almighty had chosen this glorious season for the death-resurrection and exaltation
of Jesus Christ, the son of God. Although the Easter, as is celebrated by the Christians across the world to mark the great
resurrection of Christ, as spring festival is rooted even earlier, long before the birth of Christ.
In fact, Easter is
a convergence of the three traditions - Pagan, Hebrew and Christian.
Acconrding to St. Bede, an English historian of the
early 8th century, Easter owes its origin to the old Teutonic mythology. It was derived from the name Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon
goddess of spring, to whom the month of April was dedicated. But the Easter festival,as celebrated today, is related more
with the Hebrew tradition, the Jewish Passover. This is being celebrated during Nisan, the first month of the Hebrew lunar
The Jewish Passover under Moses commemorates Israel's deliverance from about 300 years of bondage in Egypt. The
Christian celebration of Easter embodies a number of converging traditions with emphasis on the Jewish celebration of the
Passover. It was in during this Passover in 30 AD Christ was crucified under the order of the Roman governor Pontius Pilate
as the then Jewish highpriests accused Jesus of blasphemy. The resurrection came three days later. The early Christians,many
of them being brought up in Jewish tradition regarded Easter as a new feature of the Passover festival, a commemoration of
the advent of the Messiah as foretold by the prophets and equanimous with the proclamation of the resurrection. So originally
the death-resurrection-exaltation of Jesus was a unitive celebration on the Passover day. But in the 4th century Good Friday
came to be observed as a separate occasion. And the Easter thereafter was devoted exclusively to the resurrection.
in the West observe it on the first day of the full moon that occurs on or following the Spring equinox on March 21, it became
a movable feast between March 21 and April 25.
Still some churches in the East observe Easter according to the date of
the Passover festival.
The preparation takes off as early as on the Ash Wednesday from which the period of penitence in
the Lentine begins. The Lentine and the Holy week end on the Easter Sunday, the day of resurrection.
2 c Flour
1 1/2 c Confectioner's sugar
1/4 ts Baking powder
1/2 c Butter, unsalted
2 ts Vanilla extract
Tiny bit of water
Mix the flour, sugar,
baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter. Add the vanilla extract and a tiny amount of water SLOWLY to form a heavy, thick dough.
Shape dough into balls, and wrap around
various types of nuts.
Bake at 275 degrees for 30 minutes.
CRISPY EASTER NESTS RECIPE
2 cups Marshmallow
1/4 c Creamy peanut butter
2 tb Butter or margarine; melted
3 cups Chow mein noodles
1 cup M&M Plain Candies
chopped Peanut M&M Candies
Combine marshmallow creme, peanut butter, and butter; mix until well blended. Add noodles and chopped plain chocolate candies; mix well. Drop by rounded
tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet; shape with greased fingers to form nests. Let stand until firm. Dust bottoms of
nests with confectioner's sugar, if desired. Fill with peanut candies just before serving.
EASY EASTER CUT-OUT
1 cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 tsp Shortening
1/4 ts Water
dr Food color
1/2 c Sweetened Coconut -Flakes
butter, margarine, or veg oil
TINTED COCONUT: In small bowl,
stir together 1/4 teaspoon water and 1 drop food color. Stir in 1/2 cup Sweetened Coconut Flakes; with fork, toss until evenly
Cover bottom of 13x9-inch pan with heavy duty foil. In small microwave-safe bowl, place chocolate chips and shortening.
Microwave at HIGH (100%) 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, or until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Immediately
spread mixture evenly on foil to about 1/8-inch thick; pat TINTED COCONUT evenly onto chocolate.
Refrigerate for 5
to 10 minutes or until beginning to firm. Press sturdy, Easter-shaped cookie cutters down to foil, cutting through coconut and chocolate; do NOT remove shapes. Return to refrigerator until completely
firm; gently remove foil. Gently press out shapes; cover and refrigerate until ready to use. These can be used as garnish
for desserts. 6 to 12 cut-outs.
THANK YOU to Rosemary Smith of Ginger Cove in Annapolis, Maryland for contributing
the following idea!
EASTER HAT COOKIES
3 inch sugar cookies
width Ribbon - optional
Silk Flower - optional
Attach macaroon to top of sugar cookie using frosting for "glue".
frosting "ribbon" around base of macaroon. Use frosting to attach a
ribbon bow and silk flower
at one side of macaroon. (Can use icing bow
icing flower if individuals who are confused might try to eat the
Easter holiday, is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ!
Jesus Christ, The Son of God, bled and died for us
in a sacrifice.
This Spring day's celebrated, generally in the month of April.
All of the bright and pretty colors,
of the Easter outfits with frills.
Women and children will wear
their Easter bonnets.
In the Spring, you'll hear the various musical sonnets.
One special flower for this day
is the Easter Lily.
It's color is white, and yet snowy & milky.
The birds will sing their songs of praise.
As we begin to feel the warmth of the sun's rays.
As we say "Goodbye" to the winter's gloom,
The flowers and
trees have already begun to bloom.
All of life's beauty, The Lord created, for us all to share.
begin to flow, sending fragrances through the air.
The winter's thawing will let the rivers, lakes, and streams rise
The beauty of the Earth will make us all feel aglow!
Farmers and gardeners will start to hoe.
then they'll begin to sow.
On Sundays, we'll hear the various church bells ring.
Let's be grateful for the LORD,
let's rejoice and sing.
If it wasn't for the Lord, we wouldn't have anything!
by M. Josephine Todd, 1909
There's a story quite funny, About a toy bunny, And the wonderful things she can
do; Every bright Easter morning, Without warning, She colors eggs, red, green, or blue. Some she covers with spots, Some with
quaint little dots, And some with strange mixed colors, too -- Red and green, blue and yellow, But each unlike his fellow
Are eggs of every hue. And it's odd, as folks say, That on no other day In all of the whole year through, Does this wonderful
bunny, So busy and funny, Color eggs of every hue. If this story you doubt She will soon find you out, And what do you think
she will do? On the next Easter morning She'll bring you without warning, Those eggs of every hue.
NO BAKE EASTER CRAFTS CLAY
1 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 cups cold water
2 cups baking soda
Add the cornstarch, water, baking soda, and food coloring in saucepan and stir over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Mixture should be the consistency
of moist mashed potatoes; add food coloring.
Remove from heat, turn on a plate and cover with a damp cloth; let cool.
When totally cooled, knead like you would normal dough.
Shape clay into easter egg shapes. Let dry and paint.
Open a dishtowel and fan fold it, then fold it about a quarter of the way down. Fold a washrag corner to corner to make a triangle.
Fold in the bottom corner to the center and then the long straight edge over
that. (This makes the ears and should sort
of look like them already. Slide the ears under the fold in the dishtowel and tie a ribbon around the dishtowel below the
ears. Bring the ears to the top and tie a ribbon around the ears. So far you should have a head and ears.
washrag the same way as above and slide it under where you tied off the head (like above). Tie another ribbon around the dishtowel.
This makes the body and the arms. Bring the arms in front and tie a ribbon around the "wrists" of the bunny. Fan out the rest
of the dishtowel to make a skirt for your bunny. You can put wiggly eyes and a small pompom nose on the face and glue a small
flower or something to the bow around the wrists and the ears.
EASTER BUNNY WORD SCRAMBLE
each person a pencil and paper with the words "Easter Bunny" written at the top.
They must then write down as many words
as they can think of that can be made using the letters contained in the words "easter bunny".
The person who can think
of the most words wins a prize; you can also have prizes for the most unusual words, the least words, the most original words,
EASTER EGG BOWLING MATCH
Paint hard boiled eggs different colors and give a different color to each
Leave one egg unpainted and roll that egg across the floor.
The players have to roll their eggs and the one
who's egg is rolled closest to the white one wins that round. At this time they can either win a small prize or points can
be counted and then pizes awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes.
EASTER EGG SPOON RACE
Prepare a race
track with clearly defined start and finish lines. Provide each player with an easter egg on a spoon and have someone start
and time the race. The person crossing the finish line first wins.
Thank you to Aurora Crew
Home TR dept., Philadelphia, PA for submitting the following ideas:
Easter Bonnet decorating
Residents who are interested can decorate large bonnets with
everything from flowers, to beads, to lace, and
wear them to a big
party with all residents where prizes are given out to everyone.
Prizes can be best hat, funniest
hat, most decorated hat, simplist
hat, etc. Residents really get a kick out of this activity,
especially if food
is provided at the party.
Easter Egg decorating:
Have some residents in a cooking group dye eggs after hard boiling
This activity brings back many childhood memories and is very
If you are looking for Easter
decorations, have an arts and crafts
group decorate plastic eggs with tissue paper and add modge podge
around the eggs so that the paper doesn't
come off. They can decorate
them with one color or they can use many colors for a sort of stained
If they miss spots, it's okay, because the plastic eggs
are already covered. When the eggs are finished, hang them
ceilings and in windows.