24 March 2010

Origins of the Funny Easter Bunny - Cheeky Quote Day 24 Mar 2010

From Denny: Yes, it's that time of year again. Spring is leafing out all over the American South while Colorado is stuck in a new heavy snow fall. Look at it this way, they have yet to suffer through the first few weeks of pollen season. I'm still trying to catch up on my sleep after two weeks of misery. :)

I went looking for funny Easter quotes and discovered there are not many funny quips about it. Lots of wonderful serious and thoughtful quotes though. Those serious quotes will be featured on my quotes blog, Beautiful Illustrated Quotations where I like to offer up some commentary of how those quotes prick my thinking.

So, on to "Plan B." We all have a "Plan B" stashed away, hidden in our pockets, right? First off, let's get you into the fun part of the Easter season: the Easter bunny! Check out this kid friendly music video of the Easter Bunny Rap to give you a smile:





The Symbol of the Easter Egg

OK, so why is the ever edible egg so strongly associated with Easter? After all, the idea of the Easter egg predates Christian times. Of course, it does. Christianity, when it used to be one big happy family, decided copy cat status was the way to go to market Jesus to a bunch of folks who were clueless about him. Pagans, you know, those who were not part of the "in" crowd of the day, already observed the custom of exchanging eggs in the Spring. They had been doing it for centuries.

So, what was so significant about the egg? The egg has always been a symbol of rebirth in most cultures around the globe. Among the wealthy class they actually wrapped an egg in expensive gold leaf! I wonder how much gold was going for an ounce back then? :) Of course, if you lived on a far more modest income, like that of a peasant, then you dyed the eggs in boiling water wonderful bright colors using natural products like leaves and roots.

White House Easter Egg Roll

Today, we have Easter egg rolls and Easter egg hunts at The White House, sponsored by the President and First Lady. Children across America will hunt the colorful peasant version of Easter eggs inside their own houses or out in the yard, cleverly hidden in obvious places by doting parents.

In their Easter baskets, the children wake up in the morning to finding it filled with plastic eggs filled with sugar rush jelly beans, hideous yellow marshmallow peeps (baby chickens), a solid or hollow chocolate bunny rabbit or two and other boiled dyed eggs nestled in the plastic shreds that are dyed green to look like grass.

As to the White House Easter Egg Roll, two First Ladies are credited with it: Mrs. Hayes or Mrs. Madison. By 1933 it was First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt who turned the Egg Roll into a popular media event. She spoke on national radio to eager listeners and greeted visitors in person. The fun event languished for a decade and then President Eisenhower picked it up and sponsored it again. Since then it has evolved into quite the splashy media event with races, a circus and a petting zoo for the little children to enjoy.

When Did the Easter Bunny Come to America?

The idea of the Easter bunny and all its seasonal trappings came into America via the German immigrants. Other Christians paid no attention to it until after the Civil War. Did you know that Easter was not widely celebrated in America until after the Civil War era? I wonder why it caught on about then? Maybe it was because the country was war weary and needed something light-hearted and fun like the children's stories about an Easter Bunny. Maybe it was the idea of strutting about in new clothes that appealed to their pride.

Tradition of New Clothes to Wear on Easter Day

So, where did the idea of getting dressed up in new clothes on Easter get started? Since ancient times it was believed that donning new clothes on Easter would bring you good luck in the coming year. Well, we all want good luck, right? So, humanity jumped on the band wagon and ramped up the new clothes idea so much that by the Civil War era in America they started an Easter parade just to show off their social status and new clothes! The first recorded American Easter parade was the Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1866.

Symbolically, new clothes represent change - like finding a new sense of purpose and identity in life. It's symbolic of accepting a new self-image, refreshed and renewed.





How to Dye Easter Eggs Using Vegetables

Want to know how to dye your Easter eggs the old-fashioned way long before it was commercialized? In Louisiana we have been on a 30 year or more work to preserve the old ways of cooking, the recipes and also craft projects like this. Turns out famous Chef John Folse of Lafitte's Landing at Bittersweet Plantation has the recipes on his website.





Dyeing Eggs The Old Fashioned Way

Prep Time:
30 Minutes

This Easter try a new technique for dyeing eggs. This unique method lets you experiment with natural ingredients. The kids will have a ball inventing new colors.

Use 4 cups of each ingredient per quart of water to create the desired color. These amounts will color approximately 6 eggs.

Ingredients:

Crimson: fresh beets
Copper: yellow onion skins
Green: spinach, fresh or frozen
Yellow: marigolds
Blue: crushed blueberries

Directions:

In a large pot, place 6-8 eggs in a single layer. Add enough water to cover eggs by 1 inch. Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar per quart of water. Add dye ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Let eggs sit in the dye for approximately 10 minutes or until the desired color is achieved. Dry eggs on paper towels or in egg cartons. When the eggs are dried, rub the eggs with vegetable oil for a glossy shine.

Proper Egg Handling Procedures:

To avoid bacterial contamination, wash your hands thoroughly before you handle the eggs and in between every step, including cooking, cooling and dyeing.

Discard any eggs that crack during dyeing or any eggs that have been out of refrigeration for more than 2 hours.

If you are hiding eggs, avoid areas where the egg might come in contact with dirt, pets, birds, reptiles, insects or lawn chemicals.

Refrigerate the hidden eggs after they have been found.






On to a few funnies about the season:

The Top 7 Real Reasons Why the Easter Bunny Brings Eggs

7. Big tax write-off.

6. Who ever heard of Easter Bricks?

5. Consider all of the varieties: scrambled, over easy, hard boiled.

4. He gets a good deal from the local chickens.

3. Secret plan to eliminate human race by cholesterol overdose.

2. Pressure from the Egg Marketing Board.

1. Because if he brought Fourth of July bottle rockets he would be named the Independence Bunny.






Top 10 Signs the Easter Bunny is Nuts


10. Neighbors describing him as "a quiet loner."

9. Removed from a department store last December after screaming at Santa, "You're going to die up there, fat man!"

8. Can't stop washing his paws.

7. Colorful eggs now filled with Prozac.

6. Apartment walls covered with photos of Sharon Stone.

5. Met with Dr. Kevorkian about the possibility of a "suicide egg."

4. Rotting corpse of Energizer bunny recently discovered in his crawl space.

3. Won't come out of his compound in Waco, Texas.

2. He's hippity-hopped up on crack.

1. Keeps rubbing himself for good luck.






Origins of The Easter Bunny Tradition

Just where did the notion of an Easter bunny converge with a Christian holiday about Jesus Christ rising from the dead, defeating death?

We all know that most recent memory traditions are rooted in centuries old previous cultures that were used as foundations upon which to build the newer tradition. By nature, people just don't like having their world rocked and respond to change reluctantly. So, what to do when you are trying to market a new religion? Build upon the previous one. In this case, it was Christianity building upon pagan customs of their day.

What I find amazing is that they did not change the name of the holiday. The Easter name comes from the original goddess of Spring honored who was called Eastre or Eostre - and pronounced the same as Easter. Eastre was one of those love and fertility goddesses of the Anglo-Saxons that was actually descended from the Babylonian goddess Ishtar. Ishtar was pronounced as "Easter" in most Semitic dialects. Other similiar love and fertility archetypes include Inanna, Aphrodite, Diana, Isis, Venus, Astarte, Demeter, Esther, and Freya. Did you know Freya is honored on Good Friday? The day was named after her. No wonder we all love Fridays in the work world. It's a symbolic time for new life and renewal.

The Teutonic lunar goddess Eastre was known for her love of pastel colors along with white and green. Her known symbol was, you guessed it, the rabbit! Appearing as a rabbit was her favorite form during the full moon. The story goes that the goddess Eastre turned a bird into a four-footed creature.

Of course, the most suitable offerings to this goddess were hard boiled eggs, sweet cakes and any first fruits of the season. So, now we know where the sugar rush originated that evolved into today's candy giving on the holiday. Eggs were so special as a symbol because they also represented the cosmic egg of creation. Pretty heady stuff! Even the Egyptians hung dyed eggs in their temples. The practice originally was painting the eggs bright colors to represent the sunlight of Spring.

The Christian Easter of resurrection and renewal matched up well with the pagan festival of Eastre Spring renewal and fertility. In 325 A.D. the Council of Nicaea decreed The Easter Rule where Easter should be celebrated on the first Sunday after a full moon, on or after a vernal equinox and between 22 March and 25 April.





Top 10 Funny Reasons to Celebrate Easter


10. You absolutely love the movie, "The Ten Commandments."

9. You look really, really good in yellow.

8. You just went on a low cholesterol diet and didn't want to waste all those eggs in the fridge.

7. You figure any Holiday that starts with a "Good Friday" can't be all bad.

6. You love to bite the heads off chocolate bunnies.

5. It's a good time to check out your neighborhood church and not be noticed.

4. You have this bunny suit you love to wear but are too insecure to wear it without a well-rationalized reason.

3. Even though you don't know what it is, you really like the sound of going to a "Passion Play."

2. You figured since Jesus went to all THAT trouble to make it to the first Easter, you'd give it a shot.

1. As a Christian you celebrate the resurrection every other day, why not Easter too?





This video is entertaining. Apparently, there is an imposter Easter Bunny on the loose who is a bank robber and robbed The First National Bank in broad daylight. The hero is Super Chicken to the rescue to capture the darned rabbit:








Since Easter morning involves the giving of lots of chocolate, please abide by these "important" rules:


The Rules Of Chocolates


If you get melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly.

Chocolate covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.

The problem: How to get two pounds of chocolate home from the store in a hot car.
The solution: Eat it in the parking lot.

Diet tip: Eat a chocolate bar before each meal.
It'll take the edge off your appetite and you'll eat less.

A nice box of chocolates can provide your total daily intake of calories in one place. Isn't that handy?

If you can't eat all your chocolate, it will keep in the freezer. But if you can't eat all your chocolate, what's wrong with you?

If calories are an issue, store your chocolate on top of the fridge. Calories are afraid of heights, and they will jump out of the chocolate to protect themselves.

Money talks. Chocolate sings.

Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger.

Why is there no such organization as Chocoholics Anonymous?
Because no one wants to quit.

Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you'll get one thing done.

Chocolate is a health food. Chocolate is derived from cacao beans. Bean = vegetable. Sugar is derived either from sugar beets or cane, both vegetables. And, of course, the milk/cream is dairy. So eat more chocolate to meet the dietary requirements for daily vegetable and dairy intake.





And since this is a partial poetry blog, there is this amusing little poem to give you a grin come Easter morning:


Jelly Bean Soup


We're camping out,
What a lucky group.
We're going to dine
On jelly bean soup.

We'll cook those beans
Till they're red hot.
Add M & Ms
To fill up the pot.

We'll eat that soup
And when we're through,
We'll have our tasty
Marshmallow stew.

We'll pick our teeth
With a Tootsie Roll.
Tomorrow it's
Chocolate Casserole!

- Anonymous








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