Awakened from his deep slumber, he dashed to the front door in anticipation. He searched frantically among the bushes with an air of expectancy and a sense of wonder. Like a crouching predator that leaps on its prey, he jumped on the basket of Easter egg chocolates as soon as he spotted it, carefully concealed in the green foliage of the garden immediately below the living room window. With a sparkling visage, he called out to me excitedly and when he had my undivided attention, he proudly held the basket that the Easter Bunny had left for him.
I thought it was time to burst his dream bubble and told him the truth that it was I who hid a basket of egg chocolates every year in the bushes for him to find and that he was old enough to know the truth. I regretted it the next second as I saw his downcast face with disappointment written all over it. I had killed his imagination and with it died hope; hope of finding Easter baskets in the years to come. Later on, in the evening, when we viewed ‘Hop’ on Netflix, my son looked at me dubiously and accusingly as the film promoted the concept of ‘Easter bunny leaving treats for children’ in all earnestness. I could sense his inner turmoil as he was trying to choose between the ideas sold by the film and his mother’s honest admission. The film was more entertaining than the ordeal of confronting reality and so he called it quits.
The experience initiated the process of rumination about Easter eggs, which symbolised hope, new life and new beginning. Treading down the path of enlightenment, I discovered that the history of Easter eggs ranged from the 2nd cenutry pagan culture and the Mesopotamian practice of staining eggs with blood in memory of Christ’s crucifixion to the modernisation of Easter with emphasis on chocolates and candies which originated in America and then spread like wildfire to other countries. Both rabbits and eggs were associated with spring festivals and hence with the ideas of fertility and new beginning. Gradually, with the passage of time, this culture merged with the celebration of Easter when poor people who could not afford meat were given eggs by the prosperous to break the fast. There is also the belief that Easter eggs came into existence because people who abstained from eggs and food items prepared with eggs as the main ingredient during the lent went back to consuming those on the eve of Easter.
Whatever significance people attach to Easter, I regard it as a well-deserved break; a long weekend comprising of two public holidays (Good Friday and Easter Monday) during which, besides attending the Holy Mass at the local church, I lead an epicurean lifestyle drinking and making merry at my humble abode unlike others who prefer social gatherings or travel. As it is time to get myself a glass of wine, before I leave I would like to wish everyone a Happy Easter!