Preparing for the Easter season

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Joanne Kosey

Like many of you, I have been dealing with spring fever. As you know, there is no known cure other than to sit back and enjoy it. In the meantime, there are some things to prepare for - Easter being one of them.

Time was Easter meant a new outfit, wearing little white gloves and donning an Easter bonnet. I also carried a purse; even then I had a fondness for the accessory. Today, attire is more casual and relaxed almost to an extreme. So rather than wonder what I will wear on Sunday, I decided to look into some of the traditions that are not only related to Easter but to Passover.

In the Christian rites, this is a week of holiness and is referred to as Holy Week, which leads to the commemoration of the crucifixion of Christ on Good Friday and his resurrection from the dead on Easter. Church is a focal point of remembering.

If you are one who "gave up" something during Lent your time is up. I, for one, can now have Aunt Diana's cheese popcorn again.

The tradition of dyeing eggs is symbolic with red meaning blood and green symbolizing the foliage that is appearing. It's interesting to note that, at one time, eating eggs was forbidden during Lent, which accounted for why there were so many eggs at Easter.

I find that strange because eggs (along with tuna fish) were a staple during Lent at our house and my Mom could make many a tasty meal. Now colored hard-boiled eggs are only part of Easter food traditions along with ham and lamb and assorted other sides.

This Friday, along with being Good Friday, is also the beginning of Passover, which begins at sundown and lasts almost eight days.

It commemorates the time when God helped the children of Israel escape slavery in Egypt. Today it is remembered with family celebrating, going to Temple and eating traditional foods, like matzo, the unleavened bread which symbolizes the flight from Egypt.

Many of the holiday traditions have been commercialized and modernized. Remember when Peeps, the marshmallow candy were only shaped like chickens and yellow? Well now they are all different colors, can be bunny-shaped and dipped in chocolate as well. What will they think of next?

I think I am recovering from my latest bout of spring fever. I knew if I had a little foil-wrapped chocolate egg I would feel better - and they say dark chocolate is good for you. Happy Easter, Happy Passover, happy spring, happy everything!

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