Easter in Europe
In most European countries, children hunt for chocolate eggs indoors or weather permitting, in the garden. How did the eggs get there? No, not dropped off by the Easter bunny, in Europe chocolate eggs are delivered by the bells of Rome. The clapper knocking them all over the continent.
Children are not the only ones on the receiving end. The bells of Rome don’t forget Mom. A beautiful egg awaits her, stuffed with bonbons, wrapped in cellophane paper, held together by a colorful bow.
In Poland, the people go all out on Easter Sunday. They dress in their fineries and sit down to lunch at tables that groan under the weight of glazed ham, delectable sausages, a variety of cold meats, yeast cakes and of course eggs. A lamb made of sugar takes pride of place at the table, a reminder of Jesus’s resurrection.
In Italy first order of business is going to church on Easter Sunday, after which a procession travels through the streets of the city or village. The most memorable procession takes place in Florence, where an elaborate float, build in 1679 and decorated with garlands, is dragged through the city by white oxen.
Egg decorating can be fun for the kids. Whether they prefer paint, wax crayons or pencils, each egg is guaranteed to come out as a unique creation.
Some adults have turned egg decorating into an art form, using dye baths, sponge painting, marbleizing and even decorating the eggs with glitter, pieces of fabric or ribbons.
Some of the decorated eggs end up on the Sunday breakfast table while others are proudly displayed for days in vases, jars or egg cartons.
Along with the designing of eggs, comes the creation of baskets. They are first and foremost meant to carry chocolate eggs, but nowadays Easter baskets serve a multitude of other purposes.
For a diabetic child, such an Easter basket is filled with fruit and toys. For an expectant mother, the basket holds goodies for the baby. While for an avid reader books would be the obvious choice.
To give a basket that little extra, decorate the contents with Easter grass, real or silk flowers, leaves, twigs, ribbons or whatever takes your fancy. As a finishing touch, wrap the basket in cellophane paper and secure with a big bow.
Synonymous with Easter are Easter bunnies. All too often these animals are purchased on a whim, because they are so cute and adorable. Some people think that bunnies are less trouble than a cat or a dog and give in to their children’s cry of “Can I have one, please?” Little do they know that bunnies have fragile spines, making injuries quite common should a bunny fall or jump out of a child’s hands.
Easter bunnies are fun and easy to make as decorations though. Depending on how fancy you want your bunny to look, all that’s needed is an egg, cotton wool and some glue.
When wondering about Easter celebrations and creations, think eggs, bunnies, flowers and spring in general and you can’t go wrong.