Not only do we have a lot of bunnies hanging around and some multi-colored eggs on a "Charlie Brown" tree, but we also have Cyril, the Easter snowman.
What? You've never heard of an Easter snowman — after all, this is New England.
Here's some things about Easter which you may (or may not) know besides that it
marks the end of Lent.
There's no connection between Christ's resurrection and modern-day traditions related to Easter Sunday. "Easter" doesn't appear in the Bible and some Christians feel that the Resurrection shouldn't be referred to as Easter Sunday but instead as "Resurrection Sunday" in keeping with the Bible.
Unlike holidays that fall on a set date, Easter is a movable feast that can fall between March 22 and April 25. Western Christian churches celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox (or Paschal Full Moon) on March 21. Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar to calculate when Easter will occur and usually celebrate it a week or two after Western churches, which follow the Gregorian calendar.
After Halloween, it's the second top selling candy holiday in the U.S. Today, chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, and marshmallow chicks (Peeps) form a standard part of the celebration. Easter, like Christmas is a very commercial holiday.
Many popular Easter traditions have been around for centuries. The holiday's most prominent secular symbol, the Easter bunny was reportedly introduced to the U.S. by German immigrants who told tales of an egg-laying hare. The decoration of eggs is believed to date back to the 13th century.
The NYC Easter Parade tradition dates to the mid-1800s when high society folks would attend Easter Sunday services at 5th Ave churches, then stroll outside in their spring outfits and fancy headwear. Other folks started showing up to watch them and the tradition peaked by the mid-20th century.
Easter Parade, released in 1948, starred Fred Astaire and Judy Garland and featured the music of Irving Berlin. Gene Kelly, who had been scheduled to take the male lead, bowed out due to an injury.
Astaire and Garland only acted together in this one film. Many people can recall the movie's famous lyrics: "In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it, you'll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade . . ."
Today, 5th Ave in New York is shut down from 49th to 57th Street. And, some participants still don fancy bonnets and hats.
My brother and I (years ago) dressed in Easter finery and were treated to bunny treats.
We wish you and your families a joyous and Happy Easter celebration.
Grenville & Beatrice