And Gutenberg Lived Here: Of Easter Eggs And Hot Cross Bunnies

For those of you

who haven’t got a clue what I am on about with this theme,

I’m going to start this post,

with a joke-

one my brother and I thought was hysterically funny when I was a child-


What happens when you pour hot water down a rabbit hole?

You get hot cross bunnies.


And there we are-

the other side of Easter.

Over here in Gutenberg Land,

which was, and still is, the home of many many Americans over the  last forty years,

there are still lovely lady Easter bonnet competitions,

egg and spoon races,

hand-made baskets,

with hand-gathered flowers,

egg hunts,

with the children in heats by age so they don’t knock  one another down.

Then there is Cologne-

Home of the British Council, BBC, the buying of British products at the NAAFEE

(post exchange)

And hot cross buns.

As I discovered when I taught there, in the Nobel Dynamite factory,

many years ago,

and was given some as a present,

by an international crew of engineers.

Before the two sides,

“Tommy and Ami,”

as the Germans say,

and the Russians and French

arrived with their own customs after the war,

there were, of course, generations of beautiful, totally German, customs:

In our area, for example, one of the loveliest

is making hoops of long willow rods,

covering them with intricately hand-decorated blown out egg shells,

and using the perabulas for the “capping” of the town well,

the “Mary-water”

To make it pure,

through work and prayer.

Since almost everything needed for the family’s Easter celebration

has already been bought,

starting in January, actually,

by three today,

Good Friday,

an incredible still has settled on our town.

The churches are draped inside in black,

with the black-draped crucifix

and transformation bells,

and the silent organ

almost terrifying in their message.

Of walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

The fasting is heightened here today-

wine cream for those who have to work,

or bread, salt and herbs.

Saturday, then, is a whirlwind of cleaning, purification, baking, and cooking.

In our family, we will dye eggs.

Not in the traditional way preferred here,

of boiling onions, or beets, or spinach

to get color,

then shining the eggs with bacon fat-

We actually bought our colors last week-

in a healthfood store:

they are a sort of jelly goo that contains natural color.

And turns your hands green

or blue,

or red

as you work,

so that they have to be scrubbed twenty times with mechanics soap,

or you have to wear gloves to church.

But, to us, it is part of family togetherness.

As I mentioned a couple of days ago in my blog,

we are take-a-just-before-sunrise walk people,

followed by an, at first absolutely silent outdoor  sunrise service,


the reading of the creation,

and then with beautiful music,

the Easter message,

with, for us, a picnic afterwards,

or breakfast at home, depending on the weather.

Then a phonecall to all the friends and family.

And since my husband was born with teeny hiking boots on,

we may even take an afternoon walk

to see how the grain and vegetables in the farmers fields behind our house are growing.

And Sunday night,

as we drink good tea,

and steal small smidges off the brownies,

or strawberry tart I will bake tomorrow,

as soon as my better half decides which he wants,

probably both,

and watch one of the films from the marathons they show here for Easter.

Probably Miss Marple-

The Margaret Rutherford version-

We will thank God for our blessings,

and for our friends and family.

Happy Easter,

Have a great year.

And Rabbit, Rabbit.

copyright 2016 All rights reserved.

3 thoughts on “And Gutenberg Lived Here: Of Easter Eggs And Hot Cross Bunnies

  1. First of all, I think the joke is funny too. Surprisingly, it’s not one I’ve heard before, although it’s exactly the kind of joke I used to like as a child. That traditional German custom with the willow rods sounded very nice. I guess sometimes changes in tradition are unavoidable, though, as in your new method of egg dyeing. I hope you eventually managed to get the color to come off your skin. I can see great potential for silly jokes about having green fingers and being caught red-handed.

    Liked by 1 person

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