Easter (Пасха) — страница 2

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Easter; for people near Marlborough in Wiltshire it meant following a long-established custom in which willow hazel sprays – representing palm – were carried up Martinsell Hill. Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter: the ‘royal maundy’ describes the gift which for the last five hundred ears or so has been given out by the sovereign on Maundy Thursday to as many men and woman as there are years in his or her age. Once it was clothing which was given out, now it is a sum of money; on odd – numbered years the ceremony usually takes place at Westminster Abbey, in even – numbered ones at a church or cathedral elsewhere in the country – though 1989 seems to have been an exception, for the distribution took place at Birmingham Cathedral in honor of the centenary of

the city’s incorporation. On Good Friday, the day of the crucifixion, hot cross buns are always eaten as a sign of remembrance, and in some baker’s shops and supermarkets they are on sale for many weeks before. It is a nationwide tradition, though hot cross buns were unknown in some places – Bath, for example – until the twentieth century. The buns may in fact pre – date Christianity, since bread consecrated to the Roman gods was marked with lines intersecting at right angels. People celebrate the holiday according to the beliefs and their religious denominations. Christians commemorate Good Friday as the day that Jesus Christ died and Easter Sunday as the day that He was resurrected. Protestant settlers brought the custom of a sunrise service, a religious gathering at

dawn, to the United States. Today on Easter Sunday, children wake up to find that the Easter Bunny has left them baskets of candy. He has also hidden the eggs that they decorated earlier that week. Children hunt for the eggs all around the house. Neighborhoods and organizations hold Easter egg hunts, and the child who finds the most eggs wins a prize. In England, children rolled eggs down hills on Easter morning, a game which has been connected to the rolling away of the rock from Jesus Christ’s tomb when He was resurrected. British settlers brought this custom to the New World. One unusual Easter Sunday tradition can be seen at Radley, near Oxford, where parishioners ‘clip’ or embrace their church – they join hands and make a human chain round it. It is Easter Monday,

however, which sees a veritable wealth of traditional celebrations throughout the country: to name bat’ a few, there is morris dancing in many tows, including a big display at Thaxted in Essex; orange rolling, perhaps a descendant of egg roiling, which takes place on Dunstable Downs in Bedfordshire; and for perhaps eight hundred years or more there has been a distribution of food at the Kent village of Biddenden, ten miles from Ashford. Then there is Leicestershire’s famous hare – pie scramble and bottle – kicking which also takes place on Easter Monday; and another custom kept up in many parts of England and Wales and called ‘lifting’ or ‘heaving’ was taken by some to symbolize Christ’s resurrection. On Easter Monday the men lifted any woman they could find,

and the women reciprocated the following day; the person was taken by the four limbs and lifted three times to shoulder height. When objections were made that this was ‘a rude, indecent and dangerous diversion’ a chair bedecked with ribbons and flowers was used instead – it was lifted with its victim, turned three times, and put down. The Easter parade. The origin of this very picturesque traditional occasion, known affectionately as Easter Parade and starting at 3 o’clock in the afternoon of Easter Sunday, is not as remote, or mysterious, as many of the traditions and customs of England; there is no religious, or superstitious significance attached to it whatsoever. In 1858 Queen Victoria gave it the ultimate cachet of respectability and class by paying it a state visit

in the spring. For the occasion she wore, of course, a new spring bonnet and gown. This set the fashion for a display each spring of the newest fashions in millinery and gowns, and from then onwards that traditions has expanded; every society lady vied with her rivals to appear in something more spectacular than anything that had seen before. IV. Easter egg and Easter hare. An egg has a symbolical meaning in many centuries. It’s well known that eggs had a special significance even in the times of ancient Romans. Eggs were their first disk during meals (“ab ovo”) and they were also in the center of competition as a memory of Zeus’s sons, who hatched from eggs. Such competition took place in France, Germany, and Switzerland. Eggs was a sign of hope, life fertility even in