More Than A Day
Posted on April 21, 2014

We need more than a day to celebrate Easter and I love the custom of so many countries that add today to Easter as a holiday to stretch out the joy. For most of us it is Monday as usual, with maybe an extra jelly bean or two to liven up lunch.

On the frivolous side, it is interesting to mark the pagan bits that have crept into Easter, starting with our using that old pagan name for the greatest feast of the Christian year. Eastrē was the goddess of spring for the Anglo-Saxons, so we English speakers have clung to that name for our holy day rather than some variation of Passover as the French, Spanish and Italians have done.

Easter eggs, hardboiled or chocolate, have become part of the day, as well as egg-laying rabbits, also in chocolate. The biology is skewed here, but no one gets too literal when taste buds are involved. We need also add those marshmallow chickens, in yellow, and the bunnies, in neon pink, who invite us to sample them.

And, above all, there is that marvelous variation on the egg, the jelly bean. Did you quarrel with your siblings over who got the black ones? Amazing, isn't it, how much of our Easter has taste buds astir. This was only natural in more observant times when a stricter discipline had one "giving up" extras for Lent so that the bounty of the Easter basket was a reward for more than 6 weeks of deprivation.

I hope the sheer joy of Easter's Alleluias, with a trumpet blast or two, can carry over to our making this entire week celebratory. The earliest Christians rejoiced for the whole week with the newly-baptized among them sporting their white tunics for eight days. To meet and greet one on the street was to recognize a "family" member and to congratulate them on their journey.

So, as spring (so well verbed in English) makes its beginnings felt, let Easter's joy in all forms flow through you.


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