Saturday, April 23, 2011


 I set out with this post to tell a story about Easter.  This curious mind knows the Christian version quite well, but that story doesn't really tell you where the word and the traditions come from.
 Turns out it's not so simple.  As with many things in our world, there are lots of stories to go around.  Most of them are valid, some not so much.  Traditions start, people move, events happen, cultures assimilate and change.  We believe the stories that provide us with the most meaning, the ones that are the most plausible in our mind's eye.
Easter egg dying has a history that dates back to the time before Christ was even born. Or to the 13th Century, take your pick.  Either way, the egg has been revered as a symbol of rebirth and renewal for many generations.
And as for the word Easter?  The foundation for that depends on which translation you prefer the most.  Eostre, a goddess in Norse mythology, represents the sunrise and the spring.  The East, where the sun rises, is named for her.  It's easy to get to "Easter" from here.  Another version of the origin of the word Easter is that the celebratory word "alba" used to represent the resurrection of Christ was translated in to the German word for sunrise "ostern" and from there it readily converts to the English usage of the word as "Easter." 
The people over at PAAS have been helping people celebrate whatever version of Easter they choose to believe in for over a century.  Did you know that they named their company after the Pennsylvania Dutch word for Easter which is Passen?  I didn't either!
 I really don't think you can go wrong when you can get super concentrated food dye, stickers, clear wax crayons, glitter, shrink warp, cardboard egg wrappers AND a handy egg tray AND copper egg dippers for $2.99.  Try to find me a craft project for that price that provides two hours of fun and you'll be searching for a long time. 
What's even better is that in the many years since I've dyed eggs, the colors have gotten more exciting and the glitter that you dump in to the egg dye cups is a really nice touch.

I love sharing my childhood traditions with the kids.  We all had fun, they took great pride in what they made, and I have lunch all planned out for today even though it's only 7:30.
Egg salad, anyone?

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