I am writing this, or at least began to write this, lying on the grass under a cloudless sky.
While it feels like the middle of summer (for Scotland at least) it is still of course the middle of April and with it, is Easter weekend.
Like many 'holidays' celebrated now, Easter has its roots in pagan traditions and it is these that I find most interesting (as well as the food, obviously). Celebrations welcoming spring - a time of new life and rejuvenation - were appropriated by Christianity while the word Easter itself supposedly comes from Eostre, the Norse Goddess of spring and rebirth.
Eggs, like chicks and lambs, are an obvious symbol of such and they, like every other symbol and the holidays themselves, have been usurped by chocolate (not that there's anything wrong with that).
Rabbit and hares too were a pagan symbol of rebirth and fertility and somehow (via German folklore and the USA) the Easter Bunny came into being to join in.
I also like the story that children used to send rabbits scurrying during Easter egg hunts and so the two became intertwined. I also recently read that hares sometimes hide in lapwings' nests (which are on the ground) and so people walking past, disturbing the animals, thought they laid the eggs, which were a Victorian delicacy.
But it is with eggs that I will be marking the weekend - chocolate of course (mini ones to be scattered into good old brownies for a seasonal twist) but quail eggs too: poached and placed on a risotto nest or hard-boiled to go in a sort of kedgeree.
Anyway, what better way is there to celebrate life than by filling your face? I suppose lying on the grass in the sun comes pretty close.


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