Easter. I’m not sure what it all means.
Of course it’s an important religious commemoration, parts of which may seem a little odd in today’s world. Maundy Thursday, for instance, is literally the day for the “washing of feet”. Once a year seems a little anti-social, but it was different times.
There’s also lots of ancient, pagany traditions. New life, rebirth, spring, renewal and regeneration. Easter Sunday is calculated from the cycle of the moon, a nod to an ancient pagan moon deity.
Strange then that our modern society boils down all the religious tradition and wisdom, all the ancient cultural symbolism and poetry, all the philosophical resonances from deep in our pre-history, into four words.
Eat loads of chocolate.
This is a particular problem for me given that I am, as I have mentioned before, a weird, hypocritical, obsessive, fanatical anti-sweets and chocolate extremist.
Luckily my wife is around to keep me from ruining everyone’s fun completely.
This year we decided to create an Easter egg hunt for our son and a few of his friends. An Easter egg hunt without any actual Easter eggs? I had a plan.
I spent several unpleasantly early hours hiding a huge number of plastic eggs, in the grass, hanging from trees, balanced on mole hills with daffodils stuck in them. Some of the eggs would have special treats in them. Treats like little boxes of raisins.
Instead of chocolate there were special prizes for those who could collect the most empty plastic eggs, and for the one who could find a golden egg. Also plastic. And empty. I was very happy with my work. My visiting niece angrily accused me of trying of torture children.
My son and his friends descended on the egg hunt like a horde of locust detectives. Within minutes they had picked the area clean. I felt like a failure.
It turns out, luckily, that my wife had replaced some of the raisin boxes in the plastic eggs. The kids sat around happily for the really important part of the egg hunt.