Easter eggs

As a person who had an entirely secular upbringing, I remember Easter mainly in terms of the fun I had with my mom coloring and decorating eggs. The smell of the vinegar based egg dye is a very strong memory; we also cut lots of tiny little shapes out of colored felt – eyes, clothing, moustaches – to glue on the eggs, and if I had a really good idea, Mom would give me not a hardboiled egg, but one where she had punctured the top and bottom with a pin and blown the yolk out, so it was just the shell and wouldn’t spoil. There was also the additional fun my brother and I had rummaging through the living room on easter Sunday looking for all the hidden jellybeans and chocolate. As a little girl, I loved these:


Although now I find them a bit gross. The milk chocolate has that slightly gritty, over-sweetened quality of cheap chocolate, and whatever that goo is in the middle . . .perhaps it is best not to ask too many questions about the goo. But sometimes I will buy one and enjoy it for old-time’s sake, as I did yesterday evening. (They are best, I have learned, with a shot of high-quality scotch. This, of course, is something I did not discover as a child.)

I guess I should listen to Bach’s easter oratorio or something similar today, but I think I’m going to break with tradition and go with some Steve Reich instead.

16 thoughts on “Easter eggs

  1. the eggs and bunnies are complete foreign concepts to me (is it only part of western world or eastern part also has eggs?) . Growing up in highly religious setting, the whole season leading to Easter (we don’t call it Easter, rather Jesus risen) involves craving for food on fridays, esp. good friday (again called Jesus facing death day) when you’re only allowed 2 small meals. the whole day almost was spent in church walking along the 14 stages leading up to crucifixion and ended with walking out of church silently at late night. easter sunday everyone dressed up fancily attending mass which spilled out to the yard and streets (though if you want to sleep in, you can opt for his early rising saturday night, i never got the counting bit). on rather related note, churches in vietnam had 2 sides separated by gender, did it ever exist in US / europe? a gender-conflicted me had spent endless hours agonizing and lining up on the boy side…
    anywho, when i first arrived in US, someone gave me such an egg (in pix above). growing up also w/o chocolate / easter egg, i thought it was just something for fun and put in pocket… to discover next day some gooey thing melting inside pants 😀


    1. I don’t know how far and wide the thing with the eggs and bunnies goes – it’s a pre-Christian holdover of some kind, but that’s the limit of my knowledge.

      Puritans in 17th century New England used to separate their meeting houses with men on one side and women on the other. This faded out eventually, though. (Shakers, 19thc American Protestant sect, I believe did the same thing – strict separate of sexes, but they were all celibate and lived in communities separate from everyone else to begin with.)

      I’m sorry to hear your chocolate egg got squished/melted!


      1. Granted the Shaker community here is now referred to as the airport, but there are still Shakers up in Maine.


        1. Good to know. I remember visiting a Shaker town in Massachusetts as a college student, but it was less a living community and more of a museum. I think I mentally assigned them to the early 1800s and thought no more about it.


  2. I’m old enough to remember paste eggs which were made brown by onion skins and we rolled them down hills – a Northern activity I believe.
    Eggs were banned during Lent and, since the hens did not stop laying, they were preserved and eaten en masse at Eastertime.


        1. Actually thought I remembered at least some of the words to that song and then realized it was Les Barker’s version.

          But yeah, eggs, strong beer and Lord Nelson. I’d say that’s a way more interesting Easter than we get.


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