Sunday, 5 April 2015

Easter, Eggs and Looking for a Broody Hen

Easter  is the oldest and most important Christian feast, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion, as described in the New Testament.
It is preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting and penance.
Easter is a moveable feast and is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first spring full moon. In Western Christianity (including Catholic and Protestant traditions) which uses Gregorian calendar the date of Easter varies between 22 March and 25 April. Eastern Christianity uses the Julian Calendar and for this reason it celebrates Easter about two weeks later, varying between 4 April and 8 May on the Gregorian calendar.
So,if you can get your head around all that, or even if you can't, today where I am is Easter day.
As with most festivals, there are many traditions surrounding the celebration and many stories and legends around the word Easter, To some it is the celebration of Spring and of Eostre, a pagan Anglo Saxon goddess of sunrise and Spring. The direction of the sunrise is named after her.  In Norse mythology it's spelled Eostare and another Norse/Saxon or goddess is Ostara, believed to be the ancient word for Spring. 
Jews celebrate Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) the anniversary of the day they were delivered out of Egyptian bondage. It's position in the Jewish calendar also corresponds to the beginning of Spring. 
Germans who settled in Rome in the fifth century and founded the Frankish Church used the word alba, meaning white - the colour of the robes worn during the resurrection festival. Alba also meant sunrise and It's thought that when the name of the festival was translated into German, the sunrise meaning Ostern was selected.
Whatever the origins many celebrate the coming of Spring aspects, others the religious views and others just enjoy eating chocolate eggs. 
I won't be giving my grandchildren, or anyone else,  chocolate eggs though this year. I am giving real eggs from my chickens, to anyone who wants some. 

This is of course in the spirit of Easter, new life and new beginnings but it's a pity that none of my hens are feeling the urge  to be "broody", as I'd have had some real new life if they'd sit on the eggs long enough to hatch them.
(I am glossing over my first attempt at trying to hatch 7 eggs in a small incubator. 21 days of careful tending, turning, warming, humidifying and talking to these eggs produced nothing more than 7 soft boiled ones. I am blaming Cyril the cockerel, though he does his duty many, many times a day. Perhaps he has a fertility problem, but I won't embarrass him by mentioning it)
So, looks like omelette's on the menu again today in this house. I prefer it to cooked chicken these days anyway ...  ...
Whatever you are doing or eating, have a happy and peaceful Easter.

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