This Easter Say it with Easter Eggs and Easter Cakes
Mangaluru: When I was a kid I had no idea what a Easter Egg was, but these days Easter like Christmas has become so commercialized that Easter is incomplete without Easter Eggs and other fancy goodies. And especially for kids these days, the meaning of Easter is to crack open Easter eggs and eat the candies stuffed inside it ? As I remember, last year, when I visited my friend’s house for a get-together his two little daughters came running to me and bugged me, ” Uncle, Uncle..where’s our Easter Eggs? We want our Easter eggs? Please bring us some Easter eggs? “Oh well, I had no other choice but to call my buddy Bryan Vas, ( owner-Vas and Son, Bendoor) to save me some Easter eggs- I quickly rushed to his bakery and grabbed some Easter eggs and few other Easter goodies, came back, offered the goodies to the girls. My God, you should have seen the smile on the face of these tiny girls. I felt glad that I made their Easter joyful and Cheerful!
During the last two days Mangalorean Christians have been hopping around the city to grab some Easter eggs and other Easter goodies. Few bakeries in town namely Vas and Son/Vas Bakery-Bendoor, Crave Desserts and Bakes -Balmatta, and few other bakeries in town have stocked up with varieties of Easter eggs and other goodies, including Hot Easter bun with a cross on it etc; etc; And all the owners/managers of these stores say that the business has been good this year, with people shopping for variety of Easter eggs, cakes, candies, pastries etc. Most of these decorated Easter eggs are either made of chocolate, vanilla, chocolates and marzipan.
Sources reveal that the tradition of Easter eggs was introduced in Mangaluru by the British who lived in this coastal town before India got Independence. The story behind the Easter Egg is that- the hard shell of the egg is believed to be the sealed tomb of Jesus Christ and the cracking the egg symbolizes Christ’s resurrection from the dead. And the fun part is that the children are made to believe that Easter bunnies (rabbits) bring Easter eggs and hide it in the house or the house yard/garden. ( For that matter the “bunnies” happen to be kids parents/relatives/teachers). Although Easter Egg Hunt is not so popular in Mangaluru- also named as the “Rome of the East”, but in many Christian countries, especially USA, there’s no Easter celebration without a ‘Easter Egg Hunt. Even the President of United States participates with the kids during the Easter Egg Hunt, that takes place annually during Easter at the White House lawn.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Bryan Vas of Vas Bakery-Bendur said, “This year Easter Eggs sale has been brisk, since we had many colours and decoration of eggs. These days demand for Easter eggs and other modern Easter goodies are growing, ever since we started making these eggs decades back. This year we have prepared a large quantity of Easter eggs, and already sold most of them, and I am sure they will be all sold by Easter Sunday afternoon, since we close at 1 pm. We also sold many ‘ Hot Easter Buns with Cross on it’, since it is very popular item during Easter among Catholic families, and people have also placed orders for them. There has also been a huge demand for home-made wine and rum/raisin cakes”.
Michael Saldanha and Carl Correa-partners of Crave Desserts and Bakes said, “This year Easter Eggs are selling like hot cakes, and our bakers are working long hours to meet the demand of our esteemed customers looking for Easter Eggs and specially designed Easter Cakes. The Easter egg market is one of the most exciting confectionery markets, with new ranges and presentations attracting more consumers every year. The Easter Egg gift market reaches all ages of the population – young and old alike. Celebrate Easter with our Easter eggs and Easter Cakes-Happy Easter”.
Brief History of Easter Egg:
Easter eggs are special eggs that are often given to celebrate Easter. In Christianity, they symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus: though an egg appears to be like the stone of a tomb, a bird hatches from it with life; similarly, the Easter egg, for Christians, is a reminder that Jesus rose from the grave, and that those who believe will also experience eternal life.
Eggs, in general, were a traditional symbol of fertility, and rebirth, pre-dating Christian traditions.The practice of decorating eggshell is ancient. Ostrich eggs with engraved decoration that are 60,000 years old have been found in Africa. Decorated ostrich eggs, and representations of ostrich eggs in gold and silver, were commonly placed in graves of the ancient Sumerians and Egyptians as early as 5,000 years ago.
In particular, the custom of the Easter egg originated amongst the early Christians of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ, shed at his crucifixion. The Christian Church officially adopted the custom, regarding the eggs as a symbol of the resurrection; in A.D. 1610, Pope Paul V proclaimed a prayer:
Although the tradition is to use dyed or painted chicken eggs, a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with confectionery such as jelly beans or chocolates. These eggs can be hidden for children to find on Easter morning, which may be left by the Easter Bunny. They may also be put in a basket filled with real or artificial straw to resemble a bird’s nest.