Saturday, March 30, 2013
It is the feast of Ishtar, Assyrian goddess of fertility. And yes, the eggs and bunnies come from her. As Christianity spread across the world Christians were quite smart about taking existing feasts and giving them new meaning. That way people didn't have to give up any of their feast days. You can still celebrate Ishtar, folks, only we'll call it Easter now and the eggs symbolize resurrection.
My mother always bought a new hat to wear to church on Easter Sunday. The hat competition was a big part of Church of England services with the biggest and best hats sitting in the front pews.
And I suspect the buying of new clothes goes back to the days when people didn't have a large wardrobe. The new dress to be worn in the summer was a BIG THING. Perhaps it was the only summer dress for that year. My great aunt told me that they had one "good" dress and one "everyday" dress for winter and summer when she was a child. She would wear white washable aprons over it , but the dress itself would seldom get washed. Yuck.
So I suppose i can understand using Easter a the kick off for the summer wardrobe but it has always struck me as not very practical and half the world still has snow on Easter Sunday, and in England it always seemed to be wet and cold. We'd sit in our silky pastels and shiver.
Tonight I'll be singing at the vigil service and wearing warm clothes.
And I just read that 78 percent of people bite off the chocolate bunny's ears first. Do you?
Happy Easter however you choose to celebrate it!