Mothering Sunday has passed and Easter approaches. Thanks to the supermarkets the chocolate eggs are no more expensive than they were a couple of years ago.
Traditional hot cross buns have been on sale for some weeks and Easter eggs even longer. This is good news for the busy housewife but it is sad the buns are no longer reserved for breakfast on that one particular morning.
The day when those people who, since Ash Wednesday [the beginning of Lent], had been strong willed enough to commemorate Christ’s fast for forty days in the wilderness by giving up something they enjoyed could restart and indulge themselves as before.
Did You Know?
In the church’s calendar, the celebrations during the period through Lent and Easter are sometimes considered to be just as important as Christmas and often more so. Special services including appropriate anthems were always celebrated throughout the six weeks culminating on Easter Day when the collections taken in the church were usually given to the Clergy.
Today, for many families, much of the religious interpretation for this important time in our calendar has disappeared. Nevertheless, it is a Bank Holiday, the children are away from school and everyone, hoping for good weather, is looking forward to getting out and enjoying themselves. Many who have no young children or ties might even book to have a short ‘break’ abroad at this time so they are assured of some warm sunshine.
It doesn’t seem so long ago when on Good Friday mornings from around seven o’clock a small crowd of people, including many children who had been sent by their parents with a few pence grasped tightly in their hand, gathered outside the Baker’s shop waiting eagerly to collect their order for ‘Hot Cross Buns’. As soon as they were served they would hurry home where the buns were cut in half, smothered in butter and eaten while they were still warm.
On Easter Sunday almost all children had at least one chocolate egg from their parents or close family. The very young invariably received one wrapped in silver paper in an egg cup which they would be able to use later to hold a real egg while they dipped their ‘soldiers’.
Most chocolate eggs were wrapped in coloured silver paper that the older children removed very carefully and smoothed out flat. Some then screwed up a couple of pieces and wrapped the other flat sheets around them to see how large a ball they could make. In those days only the more expensive eggs were sold in decorative boxes.
Before the schools finished for the Easter break many of the younger children made Easter cards to give to their parents or family. For some reason greetings cards have never been exchanged at this time of the year in the way they are on other occasions when there is cause for celebration.
Easter Monday was always the day set aside for rejoicing and having fun. Small towns and villages organised fetes, sports and all kinds of activities that brought their communities together. Of course, the success or failure of these events was often in the hands of the weather.
To many of us Easter is a long weekend when we can do things as a family. The weather is always a consideration but we have our cars and a wide choice of places to go and things to see. Nowadays there are not many times in the year when you have the opportunity to do things together.
So make the most of it. Be sure to plan and use the time in a way that gives you ample opportunity to enjoy it and each others company.
A VERY HAPPY EASTER TO YOU ALL!
valley lad – [FORTY-FOUR]