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Director's Column

PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.

An Early Easter

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday has been a topic of discussion and interest in 2008 because of "how early" it falls within the calendar.

 

The Library has answered many questions relating to Easters' placement within the 2008 calendar, and I thought the answers might be of interest to you.

 

Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox.

 

Unlike other holidays on the American calendar, the date for Easter changes each year and isn't affixed to a specific date.

 

The earliest that Easter can occur is March 22, the last time that happened was 1818, the next time it happened will be 2285.

 

This year's March 23 occurrence of Easter is the first since 1913, and won't happen again until 2160.

 

Easter can be as late as April 25, but the dates at the beginning and end of the date range are less frequent as dates in the center of the range.

 

It is more likely to find Easter on April 25, as it last happened in 1943 and will happen again in 2038.

 

So, make a note that you are experiencing Easter this year on March 23, as we won't experience it again in our lifetime.

 

Today, Easter celebrates the Christian belief of the resurrection of Christ, and the awakening of the slumbering countryside after winter.

 

The Easter Bunny shows up in 16th Century German literature as the deliverer of eggs, as symbols of resurrection and new life.

 

For centuries, eggs were among the foods forbidden during Lent, so having them on Easter was considered a "treat."

 

Candy Easter eggs are a modern development due to the longer period of time that they can be maintained and distributed.

 

Easter has lots of folklore that has developed over time.

 

Breaking the smaller end of the egg will provide only disappointment for one's hopes according to folklore.

 

Finding a double yolk in an Easter egg can be good news, or bad news depending on which lore you use.

 

Breaking up the eggshell is essential for good luck, a shell should never be burned or the hens will quit laying eggs.

 

My brother's days of raising chickens and gathering eggs would conclude that no human can have much impact on the egg-laying habits of any chicken.

 

Easter Lilies are so-named because of their shape, like Gabriel's trumpet, and their white color symbolizing purity.

 

If the wind blows on Easter Sunday, it will continue to blow all year.  If it rains on Easter, there will be a good crop of grass, but little hay.

 

The tradition of new clothes for Easter comes from the same clothing being worn during Lent and the desire for something "new" on Easter.

 

Pick the folklore you desire to remember, there are many more pages to consider on www.snopes.com an Urban Legends web page used by the library to confirm or deny a multitude of information.

 

Happy Easter to everyone.