medieval times a festival of egg throwing was held in church, during which the
priest would throw a hard-boiled egg to one of the choirboys. It was then tossed
from one choirboy to the next and whoever held the egg when the clock struck
12 was the winner and retained the egg.
The first Easter baskets
were made to look like birds' nests.
Easter Bonnets are
a throw back to the days when the people denied themselves the pleasure of wearing
finery for the duration of Lent.
The traditional act of
painting eggs is called Pysanka.
To Egyptians, the egg
was a sacred token of the renovation of mankind after the Flood.
The egg has always
been a symbol of the Resurrection to Christians.
The date of Passover
is variable as it is dependent on the phases of the moon, and thus Easter is
also a movable feast.
The custom of giving
eggs at Easter time has been traced back to Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks
and Romans, to whom the egg was a symbol of life.
Every year at Easter
Pope John Paul sends his " Urbi et Orbi " to the world.
Easter is now celebrated
(in the words of the Book of Common Prayer) on the first Sunday after the full
moon which happens on or after March 21, the Spring Equinox.
Some Churches still
keep up the old tradition of using evergreens - symbolic of eternal life - embroidered
in red on white, or woven in straw, but most now prefer displays of flowers
in the spring colours of green, yellow and white.
In the United States
Easter is celebrated with a large Easter Egg Hunt by children on the White House
To the Jews, the egg
marked the time of their departure from the land of Egypt.
By tradition, it was
obligatory (or at least lucky) for churchgoers to wear some bright new piece
of clothing - at least an Easter bonnet, if not a complete new outfit.