In this Easter time and though we couldn’t gathered for our book club session on the March 28th, we’d like to share some of Easter traditions and hope you’ll appreciate and add the ones you’ve found while preparing for the book club, we’d like to discover them.
Easter eggs, also called Paschal eggs, are eggs that are sometimes decorated. They are usually used as gifts on the occasion of Easter. As such, Easter eggs are common during the season of Eastertide (Easter season). The oldest tradition is to use dyed and painted chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs wrapped in coloured foil, hand-carved wooden eggs, or plastic eggs filled with confectionery such as chocolate.
This hopping Easter creature is believed to originate from Germany. The first known account of der Osterhase is found in the 1684 notes of a Heidelberg professor of medicine, where he discusses the ill-effects of overeating Easter eggs. German and Dutch settlers later brought the notion of der Osterhase or Oschter Haws (Dutch) to the U.S. in the 1700s.
In some parts of Germany and Switzerland, children waited for der Osterfuchs instead. Children would hunt for his yellow Fuchseier (fox eggs) on Easter morning which were dyed with yellow onion skins.
Egg rolling, or an Easter egg roll is a traditional game played with eggs at Easter. Different nations have different versions of the game, usually played with hard-boiled, decorated eggs.
An egg hunt is a game in which decorated eggs, which may be hard-boiled chicken eggs, chocolate eggs, or artificial eggs containing candies, are hidden for children to find. The eggs often vary in size, and may be hidden both indoors and outdoors. When the hunt is over, prizes may be given for the largest number of eggs collected, or for the largest or the smallest egg.
Easter tree (Osterbaum)
Beautifully decorated Easter eggs are hung on branches in a vase in the home or on trees outside, adding a splash of colour to spring's palette.
The Osterbrunnen (Easter Well or Easter Fountain) is a German tradition of decorating public wells or fountains with Easter eggs for Easter. It began in the early 20th century in the Franconian Switzerland region of Upper Franconia but has spread to other regions. The decoration is usually kept from Good Friday until two weeks after Easter.
This custom is practised in a few regions in northern Germany. For this tradition, hay is stuffed into a large wooden wheel, then lit and rolled down a hill at nighttime. A long, wooden pole pulled through the wheel's axle helps it keep its balance. If the wheel reaches all the way to the bottom intact, then a good harvest is predicted.
Many people gather around large bonfires reaching several meters high on the eve of Easter Sunday. Often the wood of old Christmas trees is used for this occasion. This German custom is actually an old pagan ritual dating back to before Christ to symbolize the coming of spring. Back then it was believed that any home or field shone upon by the light of the fire would be protected from sickness and misfortune.
A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun usually made with fruit, marked with a cross on the top, and traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, India, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United States and some parts of the Americas.
Popular in Lazio and Campania the casatiello is a rustic cake stuffed with cheese, pancetta, salami and whole eggs
Developed as the Easter equivalent of the Christmas panettone and pandoro, Colomba pasquale is a dove-shaped Italian cake, as a symbol for peace. Its dough is similar to that of the panettone, but with candied peel instead of raisins, and topped with almonds and pearl sugar
Fiadoni are a specialty of Abruzzo, the region that sits in the central-east part of Italy.
Also called ‘Easter ravioli’, Abruzzese tradition calls for eating fiadoni throughout the period of Easter.
However, the flavoursome fiadoni actually has its roots in the Emilia-Romagna region, and goes back many years in time, to the Renaissance period. The recipe of fiadoni was first mentioned in the cook book Libro nuvo nel qual s’insegna a far d’ogni sorte di vivande (1557) (‘The new book that teaches you to cook all kinds of food’) by the Cristoforo di Messisbugo, a steward of the House of Este in Ferrara.
This delicious baked cake in the form of a lamb is a sought-after treat during Easter season. Whether made simply, such as with Hefeteig (yeast dough) only or with a rich creamy filling in the center, either way, the Osterlamm is always a hit with kids.