Monday, April 9, 2007
EASTER MONDAY GREETINGS
It's Easter Monday, time to begin the secular Easter celebrations! Post-Easter celebrations used to last a week, but in the 19th century that observance was reduced to one day. However, I am going to celebrate the entire week. However, after googling some Easter traditions in other lands, I am so glad we don't observe them here. In Poland, boys pour buckets of water on girls' heads and strike them on the legs with willow or birch sticks. Ouch! This may harken back to a pagan fertility rite. This also happens in other countries, where girls are "tenderly" switched with sticks decorated with ribbons.
In Merrie Olde England, men would lift women into the air and carry them a distance. On Easter Tuesday, women lifted the men. This may symbolize The Resurrection, or the rising of the crops in spring.
Easter Monday morn is celebrated a bit more gently in other places, where men wake their wives with spritzes of perfumed Easter water and the salutation, "May you never wither." Hmm, I could go for that. The Easter water, brought home from church and perfumed with oil, was also used to bless food, pets, gardens and homes.
Easter Monday is not celebrated in the United States, except in North Carolina. In Canada, it is a day for feasting on lamb, as well as trickery and tomfoolery, telling jokes and playing pranks.
I celebrate by decorating with vintage Easter cards and other items. More on that in another post.