Happy Easter

April 24, 2011

Wishing you all a Happy  Easter weekend, sunny Spring days !

Easter and eggs seem to be closely related.

Earlier on, the egg was a symbol of the earth because of its shape. Also associated with the beginning of life, it has been a symbol of fertility, rebirth and the cycle of life.

For Christians in Europe, eggs became a symbol of Easter and the resurrection of Jesus. In the past, Christians gave up eggs for Lent (the 40 days before Easter when it’s customary to give up different types of food). But even though people didn’t eat them, the hens kept laying them! So people would hard boil and decorate them. This would help preserve them longer and serve as part of the holiday festivities.

At the Jewish Passover holiday (in Spring) the egg is placed on the Seder plate and is a symbol of sacrifice and loss. For some though  it also symbolizes the full cycle of life, and therefore hope and rebirth.

In China, red eggs are given out at the one month birthday of a new baby. It’s customary to hold a Red Egg and Ginger Party at this time. Once again, the source seems to be the egg’s role as a symbol of fertility and the beginning of life.

The egg is a wonderful symbol of birth, renewal and rebirth. This is something wonderful to consider as Springtime has arrived in the Northern hemisphere, where the Earth is coming back to life !

Thank you to “Mama Lisa” on http://www.mamalisa.com/blog/ for sharing such great information and much more on  her wonderful blog.

Here is a poem about Easter eggs that I enjoyed reading in this blog : http://www.tastearts.com/egg-poem-easter-eggs-by-addison-erwin-sheldon/  I hope you will too 🙂

Seems to me like yesterday:—
Walkin’ down the beaten path,
Where the autumn aftermath
Glistened with the April wet,
Tryin’ to look green and yet
Kind of limp and lonesome lay.

Gettin’ long toward Easter time;
Days the city folks calls Lent,—
Little that we cared or spent
What they called it, prose or rhyme,
More than twenty years ago,—
Me and my old playmate Joe;
Back in dear old Yucatan
Township, where Root River ran.

What we cared fur was the wood
Filled with flowing maple sap,
And the bluff above the gap
Where the Mississippi’s flood,—
Floating many a steamboat craft,
Many a Chippewa forest raft,—
Met our boyish gaze and curled
Round the bend into the world.

Then the mill-pond and the dam;—
Spearing red horse in the race;
And below our swimming-place
Was a cave where Turkey Sam
Shot and killed a hungry bear—
Oftentimes we’d go and peer
In about the rocks and stones
Looking for dead Injuns’ bones
While our hearts felt awful queer.

But about them Easter eggs—
We had fixed it—Joe and I,—
Talked it over on the sly,
Makin’ tops and mumble-pegs;
Playin’ marble and high spy;—
Next time Easter day come round
We would know where eggs was found;
Many a jocund, boyish boast,
‘Bout the eggs we’d have to roast
Over in the poplar grove
Just this side of Knox’s cove—
Then there’d be a big surprise:—
When we’d from our hidden store
Bring our Easter eggs galore
How the folks would bug their eyes!

I remember ‘long in March,
Mild and early was the spring.
Say, how them old hens did sing!
How the folks for eggs would search.
Mother couldn’t understand—
Fed ‘em table scraps and meat —
Combs was red and slick and neat,
Cackle, and they’d kick the sand
Through their feathers with their feet.

Joe and I — we understood, —
Playin’ ’round the old barnyard,
Watched them old hens weasel hard
Tryin’ to hide away and brood;
Every secret cleft and nook, —
Underneath the horses’ stall,
High up on the smoke house wall,
Knowed ‘em better than a book; —
Out beside the pile o’ rails,
In the tool house by the nails, —
Where a hen could crawl or fly,
We went after, — Joe and I.

Then to make a hiding place,
In the corner of a stack,
Lay a weatherbeaten rack —
Crawled beneath it on our face
With a forked, crooked pole
Worked and twisted through the straw,
Roughest work I ever saw;
Made a long and narrow hole,
Then by twisting round and round,
Dug a nest close to the ground.

In it went our Easter eggs:
Many a time I hurt my back
Skoochin’ under that old rack,
Rusty nails would scratch my legs—
Still, as Easter time drew nigh,
Poked ‘em in there on the sly;—
One thing troubled us—old Nig
Our old Spanish topknot hen,
Disappeared, we couldn’t find,
Not a feather left behind
Just to show where she had been.

Last our Easter Sunday came—
Seems to me like yesterday,
In that old familiar path
With the autumn aftermath
Lying ’round like locks of hay:—
All the east was clouds of flame
Like that early Easter morn
When the Son, of woman born,
Rose and rolled the stone away.—
Bright and early did we creep
Underneath that beaten rack,
Scratched our legs and punched our back,
Reached in for them eggs, when “cheep,”
“Cheep, cheep, cheep” and “cluck, cluck, cluck”
And Joe says “Dog on our luck,
“Ef it haint that old black hen,
‘Ef she ain’t a’gone and ben
”Just a settin’ with her legs
“Straddled on our Easter eggs,
“An’ what’s more—it beats the dickens
“Half them Easter eggs is chickens.”

From “Poems And Sketches Of Nebraska” By Addison Erwin Sheldon.

This is an addition to my reply to Linda,  http://shoreacres.wordpress.com

Linda, you may enjoy reading this post http://www.mamalisa.com/blog/the-ancient-ukrainian-tradition-of-pysanka/

about the painted Ukrainian eggs, since you like them so much.

“My Ántonia” is a favourite book of mine in the American litterature. It was written by Willa Cather. Its unforgettable story takes place in Nebraska. I can well imagine that the scenes  suggested in Addison Erwin Sheldon’s lovely poem “Reminiscence” could  have been part of W. Cather’s wonderful work.


15 Responses to “Happy Easter”

  1. montucky said

    That’s a lot of interesting information, Isa! Also a beautiful photo of the egg!

  2. shoreacres said

    What a beautiful egg, Isa. My personal favorites always have been the Ukranian. There is a part of Manitoba, Canada that’s of Ukranian heritage, and one or two years I brought back their beautiful eggs from travel there. There is a lovely article here.

    What most caught me, however, was the poem. My mother’s father was raised in a sod shanty on the Nebraska prairie before coming to Iowa. I went looking to see if I could find the postcard I have, or the photo of him as a boy playing marbles in the dirt, but I can’t lay my hands on them just now.

    In any event, the poem is a lovely evocation of those early days. That way of life is nearly gone, but it’s not forgotten. Here and there the best parts are being reclaimed by people who’ve discovered the joys of a good hen or two, some eggs, and time to celebrate renewed life.

    Happy Easter!

    • Thank you so much for your visit and comments on this post, Linda. I liked this poem for all the images it suggested of a time gone by. Also because of the words and sounds, a language I was not used to learn as a foreigner, and yet it sounds so good. I was touched by all this poem reminded you of. Another “reminiscence”. I have added a link for you on my post. Thanks also for the article you shared about the pysanka tradition, very interesting !

  3. Grace said

    Exquisite egg Isa! I love this post…lil bit of info bout eggs I did not actually know and prose. Like all the symbolism you wrote about as pertains to the simple egg.

    Did you paint the egg yourself?

    • Very glad you enjoyed this post, Grace. I felt you might. Sorry to disappoint you but I did not paint this particular egg 😦 it was displayed in a shop. I did paint many eggs with my sons as they were younger and those were always great moments. Not as much though as the “run for the eggs” (course aux oeufs)a few days later… What excitement and fun !

  4. Marie said

    I love the poem with the southern drawl to it!
    Thank you for sharing the information about eggs. I love the symbolism and meanings of things are.
    I hope you had a lovely Easter. xoxo ❤

    • “Southern drawl”, new expression for me, I can see what you mean and I love it ! I did have a lovely Easter, with the family on Sunday and friends yesterday. Wonderful days of conviviality. Thanks for you visit and warm words, Marie.

  5. An eggs-cellent post ;

    Eggs hold the promise of new life and are such perfect symbols for the Resurrection. The Ukranian Easter eggs that shoreacres mentioned are a favorite of mine too.

  6. sartenada said

    Salut Isa.

    In my country this tradition is also. Earlier Easter eggs were painted by Orthodox people, but nowadays the tradition is gaining more and more among ordinary people. Until now I have presented four eggs in my post presenting and comparing “Orthodox Icons”.

    Your post was refreshing to me to read. Thank You.

    Belle journée.

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