And you thought Easter was all about a giant rabbit that lays eggs? How surreal is that? I’m looking through my Gospels and I see no reference to a rabbit in the whole Easter story.
“and Jesus saw a rabbit, and it was a good rabbit. Jesus said unto the rabbit, go forth and multiply. Spread your kind across the world.”
I don’t see it. I don’t see Jesus blessing a rabbit as the symbol of Easter. I see the symbolism in hot cross buns, sure (and yet, there he is again, the Bunny). I get why we abstain from meat on Good Friday – there is a clear alignment with the whole religious significance of Easter. But like most other Christian festivals, Easter got wrapped up in a whole bunch of pagan festivities about the ending of winter and the whole rebirth thing. I guess that’s where the rabbits come in, and the eggs.
A few places in Europe take the rebirthing thing to much more extreme levels. Should a giant rabbit and a whole slew of chocolate eggs not be your thing, you might try heading over to Slovakia or the Czech Republic. Here they believe in whipping their women folk with a braided whip made of pussy willow to promote health, fertility and vitality! The whipping is supposedly largely symbolic – until the revelries get out of hand, when the whip tends to be swung with rather more vigour than the recipient might like! The tradition is taken a step further in Hungary where they also douse their womenfolk in cold water to ensure they don’t wither and dry up (another fertility reference).
I’m not sure I could persuade Mrs Drew to entertain the Slavic traditions, much as she enjoyed vacationing in the old Yugoslavia back in the day. I’m sure she could enjoy the traditions in Corfu much more. There, the ladies smash all the old crockery to bring in new – taking Spring Cleaning to the extremes! Just don’t tell the kids; otherwise you might see a deluge of iPhones and iPads flying from the windows!
And if all of this is all too much emotional display, then you might be better suited to good old conservative Finland. Unlike their Nordic cousins, these folk are much less inclined to roll naked in the snow after a nice, hot sauna. Not for them a vigorous birching to raise the blood. No. Your average Finnish family is likely holed up at this time of year, watching the grass grow. Yes, you heard it. They literally watch the grass grow. Desperate to see anything green after along, hard winter, the kids plant grass in small portable beds inside the house and literally sit and watch it grow. The excitement really ramps up to new levels when the shoots break through though as the children place eggs among the stems.
Looking out of my window right now at a white landscape, and two foot of ice on the lawn, I can see the excitement a green shoot might yield!
Posted for the letter E as part of the A to Z Challenge.