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History of Easter

     In the Christian faith Easter is celebrated to commemorate the Resurrection of Christ. Thus it is the most sacred of all holy days. Unknown to most people, it is also the name of an ancient Saxon festival, Easter. Easter is the pagan goddess of spring and offspring. How this pagan festival came to be supplanted by a solemn Christian holiday attests to the ingenuity of second century Christian missionaries.

   These missionaries travelled among the Teutonic tribes north of Rome. Whenever possible, they transformed local pagan customs to harmonise with Christian doctrine. On a practical basis, this prevented local converts from being persecuted by the pagan traditionalists. Since the Easter festival to celebrate spring coincided with the time of the Christian observance of the resurrection of Christ, this crossover was achieved smoothly. Some doubt remained as to the exact day of the celebration.

  Well, back to the Saxons for the Easter bunny. They worshipped the goddess Eastre by the earthly symbol of a rabbit or "hare" as rabbits were known. Eventually the custom of the Easter bunny was brought to America by the Germans.

   Chocolate and Candy eggs have become popular in this century, but exchanging of eggs in the springtime is an ancient custom. Egyptians buried eggs in their tombs. The Greeks placed eggs on their tombs. A Roman proverb states, "All life comes from an egg". In most cultures, the egg signifies birth and resurrection. So when the church began to celebrate the Resurrection in the second century, the egg was a popular symbol. In those days, wealthy people covered gift eggs in gold leaf, while peasants dyed theirs with flowers and herbs.

Here are a few fun Easter facts:

  • The Easter bunny was originally called the Easter hare in ancient oriental cultures.
  • The Easter bunny united with Easter eggs in Germany during their spring celebrations.
  • In early times, it was believed that the Easter bunny would place colored eggs in nests while the children were sleeping.
  • It is a German custom to build a fire the night before Easter so that the Easter bunny can burn wild flowers to make the dyes to color eggs.
  • The Easter bunny was believed to be a large bird until the Pagan Goddess of Dawn, named Eostre, changed him into a rabbit.
  • In some countries, children play a game where they roll their Easter eggs down a hill.
  • Over 700 million Marshmallow Peeps are eaten every year at Easter time.
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    Bless this day the joy of life

    Bless this day the joy of life,
    The revelation of the flesh,
    The paradise of man and wife
    Joined to share the gift of bliss.

    Bless this day the pain of life,
    The passion that redeems the flesh,
    The love between a man and wife
    Beyond all agony and bliss.

    Bless this day the end of life,
    The peace within the dying flesh,
    The bond between a man and wife
    That long outlasts their bit of bliss.

    Bless this day the whole of life,
    The grace of being more than flesh,
    The voyage of a man and wife
    Across the mystery of bliss.

    Easter is a time of love

    Easter is a time of love,
    A time of death and pain undone,
    So we may know the power of
    The love that lives in everyone.
    Each love we feel, unstained and free,
    Redeems us--as with you and me.

    Easter comes but once a year

    Easter comes but once a year
    But when it does, we all know its here
    Children filling themselves with chocolate
    Dad's down the pub for a pint of beer!

    We go to the church for the wine and bread
    Dad's half asleep, and jerking his head
    Baby sister is here too, munching away
    On the free easter egg that the Priest gave us today

    But remember we must, that the Lord died for us
    And ascended into heaven to give us fresh lives
    For each and every one of us




    Prep Time: 45 min. Start to Finish: 2 Hrs. 5 min.

    2 cups sugar
    1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup Cocoa
    1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 eggs
    1 cup milk
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 cup boiling water

          CREAMY VANILLA FROSTING (recipe given above) 3-3/4 cups (10-oz. pkg.) MOUNDS Sweetened Coconut Flakes, (tinted) * suggested garnishes (marshmallows, liquorice, jelly beans) Preparation: 1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. 2. In large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. 3. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool completely. Prepare CREAMY VANILLA FROSTING; frost cupcakes. Immediately press desired colour tinted coconut onto each cupcake. Garnish as desired to resemble Easter basket or bunny. About 33 cupcakes.



    Ingredients :
    3 eggs
    1 1/4 cups corn oil
    1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
    2 tsp. baking soda
    2 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. salt
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 8-oz. can crushed pineapple in natural syrup
    1/3 cup shredded coconut
    1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
    3 cups grated carrots (about 4 carrots)


    Preparation :

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, oil and brown sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, sift the baking soda, cinnamon, salt and flour, then gradually add it to the egg mixture; do not over mix. Add the pineapple and syrup, coconut, walnuts and carrots, and beat well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Serves 12 to 14.



    'Happy Easter'
    'Gelukkige Pasen' - Dutch
    « Pâques heureux ' - French
    'Glückliches Ostern' - German
    "Ευτυχές Πάσχα" - Greek
    'La Pasqua felice ' - Italian
    'Glad Østlig' - Norwegian
    'Páscoa feliz ' - Portuguese
    ' Счастливый Easter' - Russian
    'Pascua feliz ' - Spanish

    Some more funny Easter Facts...

    The first chocolate eggs were made in Europe in the early 19th century and remain among the most popular treats associated with Easter.

    90 million chocolate Easter bunnies are made for Easter each year.

    16 billion jelly beans are made for Easter.

    Each day, five million marshmallow chicks and bunnies are produced in preparation for Easter.

    Easter is the second top-selling confectionery holiday behind only Halloween.

    76 percent of people eat the ears on chocolate bunnies first.

    Red jelly beans are kids' favorite.

    According to the Guinness Book of World Records the largest Easter egg ever made was just over 25-ft high and made of chocolate and marshmallow. The egg weighed 8,968 lbs. and was supported by an internal steel frame.

    The Guinness Book of World Records describes the largest Easter egg hunt as 8,200 children aged 6-12 searching for 254,000 eggs hidden in Queen Victoria Park in Niagra Falls.


    How to make colourful eggs for 'Easter'

       To Hard Cook Eggs—Place eggs in saucepan. Add water at least one-inch above the eggs. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn off heat. Let eggs stand in hot water about 15-17 minutes. Immediately run cold water over the eggs or place in ice water until completely cooled.

        Natural materials can be used to dye eggs. Experiment with the following substances suggested by the Georgia Egg Commission to obtain beautifully colored eggs.

    Beets* - one bunch sliced for pink

    Blackberries - 2 cups frozen and juice for lavender

    Blueberries - 2 cups frozen and juice for blue-gray

    Carrot tops* - 1 bunch for light green

    Marigolds - petals from 6 gold flowers for olive green

    Onion Skins - from 6 red or yellow for maroon

    Red Cabbage* - 2 cups shredded for turquoise

    Turmeric - 1 tablespoon powdered spice for bright yellow

    *After cooking with these materials, refrigerate eggs overnight to deepen color.

        To cook and dye eggs at the same time. Place the uncooked eggs in glass or stainless steel 2 quart saucepan. Add enough water to come to one inch above eggs. Add one tablespoon vinegar and desired natural material. Cover saucepan and bring to boil; reduce heat and let simmer 20 minutes. Rinse with cold water and let air dry. Polish eggs with vegetable oil for a vibrant sheen.

        To remove shell, crack it by tapping gently all over. Roll egg between hands to loosen shell, then peel, starting at large end. Hold egg under running cold water, or dip in bowl of water to help ease off shell.

        Do not color or hide cracked eggs. Hide eggs only in places you can be sure they will remain clean and not come in contact with animal wastes. Once found, keep eggs refrigerated until eaten, just as you would any perishable food. Hard-cooked eggs should not remain at room temperature for more than a total of two hours. If they do, it’s best not to eat them, but use them as decorations only.

    The true me

    Still a child at heart