The Poet in residence of Wolverhampton`s radio station, which broadcasts on 101.8 FM and online, wishes everyone a happy Easter.
“Easter is a Christian festival” explained Poet in Residence Ian Henery “but some of its customs – such as Easter Eggs – may well be linked with older traditions. The egg is an ancient symbol of new life and has long been associated with spring. From a Christian perspective they remind us that when Jesus died he was buried in a tomb cut into the hillside but death could not hold him.”
Decorating eggs for Easter is another tradition that dates to at least the 13th century according to some sources. A simple gift and way of celebration is one explanation of this with commercially brought eggs.
Another explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during Lent so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of fasting and enjoy them at Easter. Other celebrations include egg rolling contests and egg hunts.
Chocolate eggs are said to have originated in France and Germany in the early 19th century but here in the UK it was J.S. Fry & Sons Ltd who produced the first chocolate egg in 1873. The Bristol-based chocolate business was founded by Joseph fry, a Quaker.
Easter begins with Palm Sunday which is the first Sunday before Easter. It celebrates Jesus` triumphal entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey.
“It`s an event mentioned in each of the 4 Gospels” explained Ian Henery “and marks the first day of Holy Week. It`s the last week of Lent that precedes the arrival of Easter. Jesus rode on a donkey because it is an animal of peace unlike the horse which is an animal of war.”
Palm Sunday is celebrated by the blessing and distribution of palm branches representing the palm branches which the crowd scattered in front of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem. These palms are woven into crosses and represents eternal life.
On the Cross we witness God`s holy face,
Divine unity, expressed in Jesus;
A willing sacrifice, He died for us,
Love`s redemption with forgiveness and grace.
Salvation from sins for the human race,
Jesus came amongst us and had to die:
“Father, forgive them!” shouted to the sky,
Soldiers gambling at the Cross` base.
How often has that cry rung down the years?
“Father, forgive them!” when mired in war
And the hands that prayed are covered in gore?
A global tsunami of children`s tears.
“Father, forgive them!”, Mary`s boy child, dear
Pleads to God on the Cross, blood that He shed.
Love hard as nails, deliverance He bled,
All we need is Jesus, nothing to fear.