Easter, The First Major Funfair Event Of The Season
Only sadly it isn’t. Like many other industries at the minute, the funfair industry has ceased to exist. Everything on our planners through to the end of June are completely gone. With many events right up to December also cancelled. So it is going to be a long hard summer for the funfair hire industry.
To add insult to injury, the weather is some of the nicest anyone came remember in years for Easter.
Of course everyone is aware of the tradition of giving eggs for Easter. But have you ever thought why?
Easter is a Christian festival, and for Christians giving eggs symbolises new life. It is claimed this practice started with the early Christians of Mesopotamia who stained birds eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ.
There is also an association in Western Christians not being allowed to eat eggs during Lent, but allowed them at Easter.
A common practice in medieval England was for children to go door to door begging for eggs on the Saturday before Lent. These were handed out as special treats.
I remember during my youth going door to door. Many of the elder generation would give us hard boiled eggs that had been painted. The better of neighbours actually gave us chocolate. Many would also press a few coppers on us, when you were five or six years old, the few pounds you accrued made you think you were rich.
It wasn’t an exclusively Christian thing though. London’s British Museum contains some large ostrich eggs that have been carved and painted. These have been found in tombs. After investigation it is believed that eggs like this can date back upto 5000 years, well before the Christian religion. And decorated eggs upto 60,000 years old have been discovered in Africa.
J.S. Fry and sons of England introduced their first chocolate egg in 1873, closely followed by Cadbury’s in 1875. Cadbury’s created the modern egg with the introduction of pure cocoa butter that could be moulded into hollow egg shapes. Now upto 80 million chocolate eggs are consumed in the UK alone. It’s nice to see the steady move away from plastic packaging to more environmentally friendly alternatives.
Personally my favourite eggs are those produced by the Russian craftsman at Faberge for the last two Russian Tsars. Masterpieces of decorative art, many contain hidden surprises such as clockwork birds or miniature toys.