“I always hoped that on Easter Sunday sun would shine
because I love looking for Easter Eggs outside in the garden”, this is Rosa´s
experience. But do we know what Easter is? Indeed, is it a family moment, some
religious event or just another commercial try to sell
“Easter is a Catholic holiday, that´s a fact; but if
you ask what it means for me, I would say ´time spend with my family´. Yes, we
prepare the Easter basket and go to church to have it blessed by the priest.
Then we come back home and eat together”, this is, at least in Poland, for Beata
But it is also “we stand up really, really, early
(everyone tries to be the first to find something) and search the whole flat or
garden. At the end, we all have the same amount of chocolate, so there was no
argument. My family has never been too much religious, so going to the church
wasn´t really an issue”, Rosa von Scheidt from Germany.
Pascha, Pasch, Easter or Pascua, the language
does not matter, comes from the
Norsemen’s Eostur, Eastar, Ostara, and Ostar, and
the pagan goddess Eostre, all of which involve the season of the growing sun and
new birth. For Christians,
the Easter egg is the symbol of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Also, Easter is the second best-selling candy
holiday in America, after Halloween,
and over 90 million
chocolate Easter bunnies are made each year. So is
the egg and rabbit tradition something created just to increase sells? Indeed,
there is a reason, even if the origins are not clear. “The
ancient Egyptians, Persians, Phoenicians, and
believed the world began with an enormous egg, thus the egg as a symbol of new
life has been around for eons”, as Rosa admitted before.
But chocolate and rabbits are not the only symbols. In
Spain, Easter is nothing compare with the whole festival week called Semana
Santa – Holly Week. Multitudinous parades in every region of the country, women
with dark clothes crying and following a sculpture of Jesus. It is surprising if
you think Spain is a secular country and for the whole week everything is close
and there is no school. Even if in some parts of the country, egg tradition is
not so common, in Alicante, for example, there is something called Mona de
Pascua, some bread covering a decorated egg.
“Nowadays my siblings don´t live at home, and my
parents don´t buy or hide chocolate any more. They think I am too old, but who
is too old for chocolate? So Easter doesn´t mean so much to me any more”, Rosa
admits. In Spain only godfathers or mothers are the ones who give some chocolate
eggs or some gifts to their nephews. “According to the National Confectioners
Association, over 16 billion jelly beans are made in the
U.S. each year for Easter, enough to fill a giant egg measuring 89 feet high and
60 feet wide.”. “The largest Easter egg ever
made was over
25 feet high and weighed over 8,000 pounds. It was built out of chocolate and
marshmallow and supported by an internal steel frame”.
So maybe Easter is not as religious as it was at the
beginning but not as commercial as Saint Valentine´s Day or other celebrations.
Maybe it is just another excuse to be together.