Friday, 29 March 2013
Easter on The Dingle Peninsula.
Jack says he doesn't know if anyone had chocolate eggs at Easter when he was a child. Round here they used to boil a big pot of newlaid eggs on Easter morning and compete to see who could eat the most of them. One man was said to have eaten twenty. There was a boy who claimed he'd had six hen's eggs, two duck eggs and a goose egg for his breakfast.
I sat at Jack's table and we agreed that they wouldn't do it now. They'd have chocolate bunnies.
Here in Corca Dhuibhne, the earth is waking to springtime.
New traditions replace old ones and across continents and millennia the symbols shift and change. But this is the time of year when they all speak of death and resurrection, seedtime and harvest time, life in the earth, fire in the sun, and the power of the moon over water.
Once, long before Easter was ever thought of, the egg was a potent symbol of fertility, strong enough to invoke a blessing or call down a curse.
And once, before he became a chocolate bunny in foil wrapper, the hare was a servant of the Goddess.
He carried her messages to earth from the moon.