For those of us celebrating, this Sunday is Easter.
Along with its religious significance — the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the reason why there is Easter — it’s also the time for chocolate bunnies, marshmallow chicks, jelly beans and colored eggs in all kinds of decorative patterns.
Those colored eggs — poultry produced or twist-apart plastic — are strategically dispersed, lying in wait to be captured during traditional Easter egg hunts that are played out in family backyards and city parks in many parts of the world — from Canada to Croatia, from Sydney to San Francisco, and other countries, cities and towns in between.
Even the President of the United States gets involved in Easter, as he leaves the Oval Office to host the traditional Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White house. This year’s event takes place on April 1st — pity the fool — and will mark the 135th edition.
In general, eggs were a traditional symbol of fertility and rebirth. The practice of decorating eggshells is ancient. Sixty-thousand years ago ostrich eggs were decoratively engraved in Africa. More recent, about five millennia ago, ancient Sumerians and Egyptians placed decorative ostrich eggs inside grave sites.
The custom of the Easter egg among early Christians began in Mesopotamia. There, locals stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ. In 1610, the Catholic Church, under the direction of Pope Paul V, officially adopted the custom of regarding the egg as the symbol of Christ’s resurrection into Heaven.
Today, those hard-boiled eggs are pimped out — colorfully and creatively dressed up to the nines — during Paschal Time.
The lily-white and free-range-brown eggs are miraculously transformed into works of art — well, some of them are — once the “after market” effects are added.
Like Cinderella fast approaching her midnight “curfew,” these good eggs’ 15-minutes of fame, unfortunately, is short lived, too.
It’s a real tragedy to see them all finally tapped open, peeled, salt-and-peppered and consumed — one right after the other — just like Paul Newman did in that unforgettable scene from the 1967 Academy Award-winning movie, Cool Hand Luke.
Happy Easter everyone, and good hunting!
©The Palladian Traveler | ©Tom Palladio Images