Sunday, April 16, 2017

Related imageToday is  Easter Sunday a most religious holiday to many around the world and also a time  to feast on the chocolates. I never thought I would live long enough for Cadbury to eliminate the word Easter from the labels on their chocolate eggs. Is Easter offensive now? Easter is first and foremost a day of great religious significance yet over the centuries it also became identified with a certain cute furry   animal called the bunny. How did that happen? Is it like what Santa is to Jesus at Christmas? Easter Bunny to Jesus at Easter? A non-religious icon to worship in winter and in spring?
How old is the Easter Bunny anyway? He even has his own song called Here Comes Peter Cottontail. There is a Easter hat parade and a song for that too called In My Easter Bonnet. The White House Easter Egg Hunt was started on the lawn of the Capitol by First Lady Dolly Madison in the early 1800’s. It has grown to be a fun tradition where a thousand people and their children attend   to roll Easter eggs.  Is Trump going to have fun with that? He does not act like any traditional President. He didn’t attend the White House Correspondents Dinner that should have been a fun night and he didn’t attend the White House Passover Seder. His daughter Ivanka that converted to Judaism and her husband Jared did not attend either. He didn't even throw out the first pitch of the Baseball tradition that even FDR did from a wheelchair!Donald Trump is never seen with his 10 year old son. He doesn’t even live with his wife. Like most senior citizens he prefers to go to the home in Florida on weekends.Well, he did attend briefly for an appearance wearing his full suit and tie and his son Baron also took a tour; the first lady walked like she was modeling on a catwalk at a fashion show. At least they attended this one.
 This weekend there is talk of War with North Korea, protests demanding he produce his tax returns since all Americans produce their tax returns and terrorist threats everywhere. It is hard to relax when some family members have to put in a full day of work while other family members have the day off. Congress voted themselves a two week paid vacation this time of year. We must still try to think of Peace on Earth somehow. This time of year some religions celebrate that Jesus died on the cross for our sins.
 Long before it was a bunny it was a hare. The stories go back to when there was a pagan goddess whose name sounds like Easter. The Easter hare appeared to be German in the first known written reference to the animal in 1682. It was a German book written in Latin about the custom of Easter Eggs but it also mentions the Easter hare as a creature that delivers the eggs. At least that is what the folklorists say at the Library of Congress.
The Easter Bunny or hare story makes its way to the United States at about 1790 brought to America by the Pennsylvania Dutch who were actually German. It is really Pennsylvania Doich.  In an early magazine called the Pennsylvania Dutchman in an 1838 issue there is an article written about the Easter Bunny. He writes that Easter is a time for children to play outdoors in the spring and find eggs that a rabbit laid. Why a rabbit? It doesn’t matter apparently. The kids had fun finding the things and they put the eggs in wicker baskets. The American Rabbit Association recognizes 49 breeds of rabbits anyway. In Washington, Pennsylvania there is a National Show where the various breeds compete for trophies.

Rabbits are capable of breading once a month and their babies are called kits.  Chocolate Bunnies are consumed quickly today.  Marshmallow Peeps are a seasonal delight too.  Happy  Easter everyone! 

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