Sunday, April 20, 2014

Preparing for Easter in Scotland

Today is Easter, but I started to think about preparing for it a few weeks ago.  I know, I'm supposed to have been reflecting on Easter for all of Lent, but my earnest concern about Easter traditions only started a little prior to Palm Sunday.   Thinking about Palm Sunday made me miss Central Congregational Church in Providence, and all their Palm Sunday celebrations - waving palms, procession with a teenager plying Jesus, and even Jasper the donkey. Last week at Palm Sunday here, I ended up working in the creche (nursery) during church, so I couldn't be sure about the palm-waving, but there was definitely no donkey. I saw small palm branches woven into crosses (pre-woven, not even a palm leaf to weave yourself, or teach your kids how to make the cross out of it).

For Easter itself, I thought about the American traditions, and then ran into Scottish roadblocks:

1) Dyeing eggs. Okay, didn't even really anticipate this one: almost all eggs in the US are white, right. you could get brown eggs if you wanted, but they're not as common. Not so here.  Eggs are uniformly brown. No white eggs to be found, even in a big store. So how do you dye eggs when they are all brown? I asked Paul to get stickers, so we sticker-ed our eggs this year:


2) Hunting for (plastic) eggs hidden by the Easter Bunny.  Okay, we were doing better on this one. The trickiest part was the plastic eggs (which Paul found and bought, although he lamented the whole time the three dozen plastic eggs we had left in the storage space in Virginia).  But Easter candy was plentiful - gummy bunnies (Haribo has a monopoly over here on gummy things), Cadbury mini-eggs (not the creme eggs although those are also everywhere), jellybeans - and we have a garden (yard) for hiding eggs.  So what if the Scottish neighbors thought we were a bit nuts, yelling "Eggs!" and hiding and re-hiding them in the garden between 9 and 10 am (see video clip below). We didn't find any bit Easter Egg hunts (like at church in Providence).  The one thing we did discover was a Scottish penchant for egg-rolling. At school, Audrey's teacher and classmates told her she had to roll a big egg down a hill, "like rolling the stone away from the grave" on Eastern Sunday morning. And some friends of ours did plan to go egg-rolling first thing (like 8 am) on Easter. We have the big plastic egg that the 36 small plastic eggs came in, so we thought we might roll that down the hill...but at church, a girl (8 or 9 years old) came up to me to ask if Audrey wanted to roll her (Cadbury chocolate) egg down the hill with her.  I said sure, and later Audrey told me that they had rolled an egg for the girls and an egg for the boys, and when they rolled down the hill, guess what, they broke, and she got to eat 3 pieces of maybe this is the point :-) 
3) Eat peeps. This is really more of a my-father Easter tradition, but with two marshmallow-loving kids, it seems like a good tradition to uphold.  Except there are no peeps in Scotland. Cadbury has a virtual lock on the market, and they don't make peeps. At church I found pink marshmallow bunnies, but it wasn't the same. No chicks. No sparkly sugar. Just not the same!

Enough for now - off to roll the plastic egg down the hill, which Audrey is currently taping with scotch tape (sellotape, here) so that it will be able to survive its rolling journey in one piece!

Blog bonus: Here is the 30-second video of her rolling the egg. Tried to put it on Facebook but it came up as a black screen (audio but no video) every time...

1 comment:

Mary McElveen said...

Interesting...but no peeps?!? How can there be Easter without peeps? However, I expect the girls were just as happy with chocolate and gummy bunnies.