Saturday, April 7, 2012

Looking Through A Rose Tinted Holiday

I was raised a good catholic child by my Cuban parents and the Irish nun at my primary school made sure that we all observed every facet of the Ascension. Easter Holiday and all the commercial trappings and American traditions never really made much sense to me and what I was being taught in school and at church which was the brutally horrific story of how Jesus Christ had died for our sins in such a barbaric way. So how did this correlate to pastel dyed boiled eggs and marshmallow peeps? Apparently the rabbit was as symbol of fertility because they conceive second litters while still pregnant. That along with the myth that rabbits were hermaphrodites therefore being able to bear offspring without copulating and therefore connected in some equally misinformed way to the Virgin Mary brings the bunny directly in line with the day Christ becomes a ghost and "passes over". Ok, I am taking liberties here but not that far off. In the Jewish tradition Passover marks the exodus of the ancient Israelites who were freed from slavery in Egypt but not before God inflicted ten plagues on them- one being the death of their first born. The Israelites marked their doors and the Lord knew to "Pass over" the first born in these homes.
Ok, so what about the colored eggs coming from a rabbit? The Greeks colored eggs pink as a reference to the blood of Christ and green eggs symbolized the rebirth of Spring. The Protestants were the ones to bring the eggs into the picture as a rebellious act rejecting the Catholic fasting of Lent.
Somehow all these things got thrown together and we ended up looking for eggs in the grass and wearing bonnets.
Now considering all the violence connected with this holiday I always feel a little strange saying "Happy" Easter. I guess it's the one day of the year we're allowed the look through rose tinted glasses. And there you are. Spring flowers to celebrate a rebirth.
Happy Spring folks and enjoy your respective holidays!