Easter egg, the most eagerly awaited gift on Easter during my childhood days, was large sized made of icing sugar (hard) and thus white.
My father used to get them for us from Kottayam, the district headquarters to our small village, Thidanad.
We used to break it carefully looking for the small items inside, the most attractive of them being a plastic toy watch. Others include toffee, whistle, eraser etc.
We used to sport the watch for the next few days to school till it’s broken.
I remember Easter eggs at Flurry’s Calcutta when I was working there. The chocolate coated ones were most delicious and expensive. The ones at Kathleen in New Market were equally delicious and much less expensive.
Easter was not eggs only. It was breaking the non-veg abstinence of 40 days and after church the families were treated to sumptuous breakfast of all types of meat and a specialty called ‘kallappam’ along with usual appam etc.
Hot Cross buns were alien and notcommon in our village life.
This year church is online, eggs fancier and egg sized, abstinence upgraded to intermittent fasting. But the spirit and memories remain.
We are increasingly taking a look back at traditions and rituals in this modern world. I have always been wondering why churches are overflowing during the special times such as Christmas and the Holy Week, particularly in Kerala. And perhaps this is the answer.
Churches in Kerala literally enact biblical events during these special days. Done mostly through the midnight, the congregation is so full that I sometimes wonder where these people are during a regular Sunday mass.
This Holy Week, probably gave me the answer. Aided by beautiful singing and dramatic recreation of the 2000 years old events, using modern visual effects, the celebrations are a treat to the ears and eyes and even to the soul.
Starting with the Maundy Thursday to Good Friday through to Easter, we acted in the events leading to Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection.
What if it took two and half hours on Thursday, a same amount of time on Friday and well over three and half hours on Sunday, we got to watch the tradition including a fantastic visual display of the huge tombstone sliding open and the resurrection accompanied with lightning, thunder and strong breeze.