They have been around for months now and that is probably why, when Easter finally comes around, I am surprised.
I mean all the Easter chocolates in their various shapes and sizes, such as Easter Bunnies, Eggs or Chickens. I have whined about this before (it´s my blog and I whine if I want to, whine if I want, whiiine if I want to). As soon as one festivity is over the chocolates or other typical foods for the next one pop up in all the shops, even if the celebration is still months away. So there they were all these months and me ignoring them until the very week Easter is actually happening. And then I say “Already?”.
If my children were still in german pre-school I would have had some warning when the teachers ask for empty eggshells to be provided for the ritual painting of the eggs. At home you can boil your white eggs with onion skin or paint them with special food colours, if you can stand eating eggs that when you peel them they might be blue.
I was amused when a german educator at an international school, complained that she could not get the parents to join in the fun and bring in empty eggshells for their children to paint. Of course I only stated to the Educator that most of her parents are not used to this tradition, while I thought to myself that those parents might object to the rather yucky part of emptying an egg for the purpose.
Another way of knowing it really is time is when garden trees suddenly grow the colourful egg fruit. Trees that just barely are showing the first signs of spring, get a little push of cheer. It is not as widespread as decorating for Christmas and I still remember when I saw my first “Eggtree” in a village in the Taunus. The eggs were beautiful handpainted affairs and a little message of good cheer was attached to the fence. Maybe it all started in that little garden.
I remember Easter Egg hunts in my childhood. It was exciting scrabbling through the bushes and looking behind trees to find the treasures. By and by colourful “real” eggs, where replaced by the chocolate variety. One Easter brought a surprise which cannot be beat to this day: the birth of my baby sister. The eggs I remember from that easter, where the ones my Dad tried to fry, while my Mother was in hospital, and which he burnt.
The TV would be on on those Easter Sunday mornings, while we waited for the blessings by the Pope to be shown. It was always amazing and moving to see the crowds in Rome, waving their little flags from all over the world. As my older sisters moved out, it became part of the tradition that they would invite everybody for Easter Breakfast. If Easter coincided with a sunnier spring season this was a great way to start the day and later enjoy a walk in the fields or woods, along with all the Germans who love walking or rambling.
I always wondered why a Rabbit brought the eggs until I read that it wasn´t always a Rabbit. Other regions had other animals bringing the eggs. And Eggs are brought because they are symbols of the new life every spring brings, a symbol which was already celebrated in ancient times by Egyptians and Persians.
I wonder if the pre-school Educators of those times made a call for empty egg shells.