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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Some Austrian trivia about Easter Time .... and more

In Austria children believe that the Easter bunny hops over the fields and makes its way to the gardens. The bunny is the official symbol of fertility since the 16th century. But the bunny and the egg are also symbols of the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eastre, after which Easter has been named.
The customary act of painting eggs is known as Pysanka. In Austria we use to paint the eggs and colour boiled eggs. This custom was taken by the pagans, to whom colours had a special meaning: red for death of Jesus, green for hope, yellow for wisdom, just to name a few.

Tradition has it that we hide chocolate eggs, preferably in a garden and children then will have to seek them.
In Austria we love to eat a "Pinze", a deliciouse sweet yeast bread, some smoked ham cooked in a bread dough, called "Osterschinken"

We also decorate the houses with consecrated pussy willows, decorated with eggs hanging around. Is was tradition in Jerusalem to use palm branches to show your devotedness to Jesus. In absence of palm trees we use willow branches

Chocolate eggs were made for the first time in Europe, in the 19th century. Till date, they remain one of the favorite Easter treats.

Easter is the top-selling confectionery holiday in the west, second only to Halloween.

On Easter, 76% people bite off the chocolate bunny ears first, while 5% bite the feet first and 4% eat the tail first.

Right from ancient times, the egg has been regarded as a symbol of rebirth in most of the cultures. Eggs, bonfires, candles, lily, cross, palm, bunny and lamb are the most popular symbols of Easter.

Just like Passover which is dependent on the phases of the moon and has different dates each year, Easter is also a movable feast. BUT Easter always falls between March 22nd and April 25th.

The custom of giving eggs at Easter dates back to the time of the Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks and Romans.

Every year on Easter, Pope gives his "Urbi et Orbi" (papal address) to the world.

Easter is known by different names across the world. Some of them are: Easter (english), Paques (French), Pascua (Spanish), Pasqua (Italian), Pashke (Albanian), Ostern (German), Pascha (Greek),  Paaske (Norway), Pasen (Holland) and  Pask (Swedish)


Egyptians were initially the ones who exchanged eggs to symbolize the resurrection of Christ. It was later that the tradition was passed down to early Christians. But it was forbidden by the church to donate eggs. As people loved this habit it was adapted and the eggs where hidden in neighbours garden.

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