Well here in Northeast Ohio it feels more like Christmas than Easter; but here we are the last week of March or this year, Holy Week. I’ve never been able to wrap my brain around how the day Easter falls on is determined. I don’t know, I guess it’s just one of those things I don’t have room for in my head. I found a good article on History.com (great site as well as great channel) it says the following,
“Easter, which celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, is Christianity’s most important holiday. It has been called a moveable feast because it doesn’t fall on a set date every year, as most holidays do. Instead, Christian churches in the West celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21. Therefore, Easter is observed anywhere between March 22 and April 25 every year. Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar to calculate when Easter will occur and typically celebrate the holiday a week or two after the Western churches, which follow the Gregorian calendar.”
I somehow still doubt it will stay in my head, I’ll just check the calendar next year!
Easter is a season in the Christian church, beginning with Lent which as you know is a time of reflection and penance representative of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert being tempted by the devil. As I write this it is Tuesday of Holy week, the home stretch as it were. We have the holiest of days ahead in Holy Thursday (The Last Supper), Good Friday (Jesus is crucified), Holy Saturday (his transition to resurrection) and Easter, the day Jesus is resurrected and we can all eat again!
Speaking of eating, what is the traditional Easter dinner? Is there ONE traditional dinner? Maybe there was long ago but know each culture and even family has their own traditional dinner. We always have glazed ham with an abundance of sides including asparagus and lots of desserts including chocolates cheesecake. I know others may have lamb with mint sauce, or even deep fried turkey. I came across Easter Cheese just this week, I’ve never had it but I’m very intrigued. It’s a Slovak dish that is typically served at Easter time and goes by various names including hrudka, cirak, sirok and sirecz. It sounds like custard and I’ve read it can be either savory or sweet. I think I would prefer sweet but you never know. I’m thinking of trying it this year, if I do I’ll let you all know what happens. Here is the recipe:
- 1 qt milk
- 12 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar
Heat milk; add beaten eggs, salt and sugar. Cook on low heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon until mixture is thick and separated from the whey. Pour into cheesecloth, tie closed and hang to drain. Chill and slice.
So if Easter is a religious holiday, where did the Easter Bunny come from? I haven’t read the entire bible but I don’t think Peter Cottontail is in it. But this makes sense to me, (again from history.com)
“The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life. According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.”
Whatever your traditions, all of us at Leeners wish you a Blessed and Happy Easter!