Holy Week with Easter Egg Trees
Driving around the pleasant countryside of Frederick County gives proof to a trite old saying: “It’s amazing what you can see if you keep your eyes open.”
Thus, the other day before the snow and considering some fine eateries of all types, it was pleasant to see some spring flowers breaking through. To my utter surprise I spotted an Easter Egg Tree.
Rather clever no doubt, but the homeowner went through a lot of trouble to hang the numerous colored eggs all over the tree – every limb. They were rather pretty.
Other than the celebration of the Christian Holy Week, as a boy I’d never given much thought to Easter baskets or Easter bunnies with the exception of eating my way through the chocolate candies, gum drops, and all the other tasty morsels.
I do remember Easter time being the coming of spring, with sunrise church services, brightly colored clothes for everyone and stepping lightly downtown sporting finery.
Where did the Easter bunny come from? At an early age I knew rabbits didn’t lay eggs. Neither was I inclined to eat rabbit stew – either then or now. I just didn’t give it a thought and continued to make a habit of snacking constantly on candy pleasures, certainly promoted by the company a few miles north in Hershey, PA.
With a little research my education has advanced. Easter bunnies aren’t rabbits at all. They are hares. In the 1800s, the Pennsylvania Dutch brought the European custom to North America. They told their children about Osterhase. (Hase means hare, not rabbits). Further, only good children received colored eggs as gifts in nests they made in their caps and bonnets before Easter.
Stay with me, people.
The egg and the rabbit are symbols of springtime and rebirth. Most hares are colored light brown, although some old English breeds were black. There are also Arctic Hares, which are completely white.
It’s a nice lesson about the bunnies and hares and everything.
The story to remember though is the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. Let’s take that strut and stroll on the avenue, be refreshed and energized.
I still like Easter baskets and all that goes with the week. We can use a respite.