With last week being occupied with all things Easter, I let the time machine rest and did not travel to the Kingdom Calelind. My husband, four daughters, and I observed the holiday by participating, via the Internet, church services. We also colored Easter eggs, and had a special dinner on Holy Saturday night. On Easter Sunday we looked for Easter baskets, ate a lot of candy, went for a four-mile hike by the lake, and had another large and delicious supper together.
With the COVID-19 restrictions, this Easter was much different than in years past. We couldn’t go to church, we couldn’t meet with our extended families, and grocery shopping was strange because we wore masks and had to wait our turns to get inside some of the stores. All these changes made me wonder – how did they celebrate Easter back in Isasnora’s lifetime? And did some of those tradition get passed along through the centuries to today?
Though details of Isasnora's birth and life are a bit fuzzy, we know her tale takes place during the Middle Ages, which spans the years of about 476 A.D. to 1453, somewhere in an European world. One tradition medieval European people incorporated into their Easter celebrations was the eating and coloring of Easter eggs. Christians would fast (not eat too much and not eat certain foods) for forty days, and not eating eggs was part of that fast (see: A hunt for medieval Easter eggs). Because eggs do not spoil over long periods of time, the people would collect the eggs and often boil them to be eaten on Easter. The eggs were also colored and decorated. One account says that a king had over 400 eggs painted in gold leaf (see: Medieval Easter Traditions).
Speaking of eggs, another tradition besides coloring eggs was called Egg Tapping. This involved two people tapping the pointy side of the egg against another egg until one of them cracked. The player who cracked the most eggs without cracking his or her egg won (see: The Fascinating History Behind Your Favorite Easter Traditions).
Eggs aside, medieval people spent most of week leading up to Easter in church, and when Easter day arrived, they broke their fast and feasted. They were also known to wear new clothing on that day.
Our traditions today are not too different from medieval times, though most people do not fast from eggs during Lent, and the Easter Bunny doesn't show up in history until around 1700. Furthermore, they probably did not eat chocolate Easter candy, since chocolate wasn't introduced into Europe until around the 1500's. Another tradition they probably didn't follow was melting Peeps in microwaves.
Exiled in the Forest Petiole, what Easter traditions did Isasnora and her family and friends celebrate? Did they search for dragon eggs? Did they paint eggs to look like the shells of Auntie Leania and Uncle Red? Did they fly on Humple Dumple's back to watch the sun rise on Easter morning? Did Lady Mirella prepare a large leg of lamb for Easter dinner? Did Isasnora's bratty cousins - Lemonella, Ebron, and Gozelinus - eat all the Easter cake? These are questions I'll have to ask Isasnora when I finally interview her. Please note, however, she will be my very last interviewee after all the other interesting characters from Isasnora Snores. By then, it might be Christmas. I'm sure I'll forget all about Easter by then...
Taking Art Classes
Straying from Easter traditions, I have signed up for an art class. Since I am writing other books, especially picture books, I would like to illustrate them. Also, I hope to draw the images for my blog instead of using the images from Pixabay, a great free online source. The classes are through Gale Courses. Wish me luck!
Happy Easter! Thanks for joining me.