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A few interesting facts and information about Easter

 

The Significance of Rabbits & Bunnies at Easter

 

Rabbits and "Easter Bunnies" are a carry over from Pagan times where they symbolized fertility and new life. This has to do with the fact that rabbits are notable for the speed at which they are able to reproduce.

Another origin of Easter rabbits lies in the mythology of Eastre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess for whom the holidays is named. Eastre reportedly kept pet rabbits who, amazingly, laid colored eggs -- two Easter symbols in one!

Many cultures have their version of the Easter Bunny and how he leaves eggs, candies or small treats for the children. The bunny has also been known to hide Easter eggs, much to the delight of children.

One particularly charming tradition comes from Germany, where children would build small "nests" in their caps or bonnets. When they awoke on Easter morning, the children would find that the Easter Bunny had filled the nests with colored eggs. Think of it as the Easter version of Christmas stockings. What a fun tradition to start with your family this year!

 

The Significance of Easter Eggs


Easter Eggs, the symbol of fertility and new life, are easily the most identifiable symbol of the holiday. Eggs are an Easter custom that date back to Pagan times. The bright colours that adorn the eggs symbolize the sunlight of spring and celebrate the equinox.
Different cultures have developed their own ways of decorating Easter eggs. For instance, the crimson eggs embedded in Greek Easter Breads are so coloured to symbolize the blood of Christ. Easter celebrants in Germany use natural items like leaves and ferns to make a kind of reverse stencil for their eggs.

Perhaps the most elaborate are Pysanki eggs, a masterpiece of skill and workmanship from the Ukraine. Melted beeswax is applied to the fresh white egg which is then dipped in successive dyes. After each dip, wax is painted over the area where the preceding colour is to remain. Eventually a complex pattern of lines and colours emerges into a work of art.

In many countries, the eggs colored are not hard boiled, but rather "blown" -- the contents removed by piercing the end of each egg with a needle and blowing the contents into a bowl (follow link for directions). The hollow eggs are then dyed various colours and hung from shrubs and trees during Easter Week. Using hollowed egg shells also allows you to preserve favourite eggs from year to year (if you're very, very careful).

Simple or intricate, pastel or intensely colored, people the world over decorate eggs to celebrate Easter and spring. Each year we have fun coming up with new egg ideas and designs. After so many years of experimenting, we think we've got it down. The following links will give you all the information you need to turn out spectacular Easter Eggs!


 

 

Easter Games

 

Easter games are an important part of the celebration for many people and provide many a child with happy memories for years to come. In the U.S., even the White house gets in on the action, with their annual Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn.





Easter Games Egg Hunt


Probably the most popular Easter Game is an egg hunt. You might not have to worry about preparing for this one, because if you're lucky, when you wake up on Easter morning, the Easter Bunny will have already come to your house and hidden the eggs. In this case, all you'll have to do search until you find them. However, if the bunny was too busy to hide the eggs (which he frequently is), you'll have to do it yourself. Here are a few egg hunt hints:

1. Take a count of how many eggs are hidden and how many are found. Make sure they match. The aroma of eau de rotten oeuf in July can be overpowering.
2. Don't hide eggs where pets might eat them.
3. Hide eggs in easy and difficult places to find to keep it interesting for all the kids.
4. Sometimes it's a good idea to give little kids a minute or so head start on their older siblings.
5. For extra fun, let the kids know that finding certain designated colored eggs will earn them an extra prize.



Egg Rolling


For an egg roll, you must have some sort of incline, preferable a hill. The Egg Roll is basically a race, the eggs are rolled down the hill and the one that reaches the bottom first, wins. Steep hills make great races, but slow climbing.



Egg Bowling


When coloring boiled eggs, leave one white for this game which is very similar to Italian Bacci Ball. Place the white egg in the center of an open space and take turns to see who can roll their dyed egg closest to the white egg without touching or moving it.

 

 

Easter Jokes

 

Why does the Easter bunny have a shiny nose?  His powder puff is on the wrong end.

Is it true that bunnies have good eyesight? Well you never see a bunny wearing glasses, do you?

What is the difference between a crazy bunny and a counterfeit banknote? One is bad money and the other is a mad bunny!

Why did the Easter egg hide? He was a little chicken!

Why is a bunny the luckiest animal in the world? It has four rabbits' feet

What do you get when you pour hot water down a rabbit hole?
A hot cross bunny.

 

 

Interesting Facts

 

In medieval times a festival of egg throwing was held in church, during which the priest would throw a hard-boiled egg to one of the choirboys. It was then tossed from one choirboy to the next and whoever held the egg when the clock struck 12 was the winner and retained the egg.

 

Easter Bonnets are a throw back to the days when the people denied themselves the pleasure of wearing finery for the duration of Lent.
 

 

The date of Passover is variable as it is dependent on the phases of the moon, and thus Easter is also a movable feast.

 

By tradition, it was obligatory (or at least lucky) for churchgoers to wear some bright new piece of clothing - at least an Easter bonnet, if not a complete new outfit.
 

'Things' you could make for Easter

 

Egg Tree

You will need
Plasticine or flower oasis (from your local florist)
Small twigs or branches
Green crepe paper or moss (from your local florist)
Narrow ribbon
Blown eggshells
Decorating materials

To make your egg tree first of all you will need to collect whole eggshells which have had their insides blown out. Make a small hole in one end of the egg and a slightly larger one in the other using a large needle then gently blow the contents into a bowl. You could collect the shells from eggs used in cooking.

Now it is time to decorate your eggs whatever way you like. Use lots of bright colours and shiny bits like glitter or foil to create colourful eggs. A good decoration tip for younger children is to coat the eggshells in glue then roll them in glitter. Then carefully glue a length of narrow ribbon lengthways around the egg ensuring it is long enough to tie a loop at the top.

To create your tree place the oasis or plasticine on a small plate then carefully arrange your twigs in it until they form a small tree like shape. Green crepe paper or moss can be wrapped around the bottom to disguise the base then hang your eggs from the branches to complete your tree.


Easter Basket

You will need
Coloured cardboard
Tissue paper
Decorated eggs or chocolate eggs

On a rectangular piece of cardboard draw another rectangle about 2 - 3 cm (one inch) inside and carefully score (don't cut) along the lines with the point of scissors so it can bend easily. Fold in the edges of your rectangle, snipping out the extra card at the corners, to form a basket shape with a lip all around the edge and secure firmly.

Take another long thin strip of cardboard and secure it to both sides of your basket to create a handle before padding the bottom with crumpled tissue paper and filling it with your choice of decorated or chocolate eggs.


Hot Cross Buns

You will need
1 lb plain flour
1 level teaspoon caster sugar
1 oz fresh yeast (or 1 level tablespoon dried yeast)
1/4 pint lukewarm milk
2 fluid oz warm water
1 level teaspoon each of salt and mixed spice
2 oz caster sugar
2 oz melted butter
1 beaten egg
1 oz currants
1-2 oz chopped mixed peel

Grease and flour two baking trays and preheat oven to 190C. Sift 4 oz of the flour with the sugar. Crumble in the yeast and stir in the milk & water. Leave the mixture in a warm place for 20-30 mins until frothy.

Meanwhile sift the remaining flour with the salt & spice. Add the sugar. Stir the melted butter together with the egg into the risen yeast mixture. Gradually fold in the flour, currants and peel. Knead the dough on a floured surface until perfectly smooth. Divide into 12 pieces and shape into buns. Set the buns well apart on the prepared trays and leave them in a warm place until doubled in size. Make two cuts on the top of each bun to form a cross.

Bake just above the centre of the oven for 15-20 mins. Leave the buns to cool on a wire rack; while still warm brush them with a glaze made from 1 1/2 oz caster sugar dissolved in 2 tablespoons water.

 

I hope you have found something interesting here, perhaps you might try one or more of the recipes or crafts - if you do, why not post in the Forum.

Happy Easter Everyone !


 

 

 


 

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