April brings the primrose sweet, scatters daisies at our feet. So goes the old rhyme…
As much as we love Christmas, we’re always happy to see April. The nights are getting longer at last, although the temperature so far hasn’t had much of the feel of spring about it…
The air does feel different though, and it’s good to get longer hours of daylight to top up our depleted levels of vitamin D, amongst other things. The onset of April and the springing forward of the clocks definitely signifies that it’s time to celebrate the end of the dreary months and to look forward to the promise of new growth – and that, of course, includes our Scottish grown Nordmann Fir trees here at Crimbotrees.
The Rites of Spring
The changing of the seasons has long been celebrated with rituals, and Spring has a few rituals of its own.
Seen as a symbol of fertility and rebirth, eggs feature heavily in Spring, not only in chocolate form – the chocolate egg market is worth approximately £220 million with at least 80 million eggs sold annually – it also gives the Easter bunny (another symbol of fertility) something to do delivering all those chocolate eggs to egg-cited (sorry) children.
Easter Sunday is traditionally a time to roll the – hard-boiled and decorated – eggs. Easter Egg hunts have become increasingly popular and it’s fun to organise your own either around the house or in the garden – and of course, it’s a great way to get the kids out in the fresh air, and that’s never a bad thing!
The Easter Egg might be big business, but the most expensive decorated eggs are the famous Russian Fabergé eggs. The first Fabergé egg was made for Tsar Alexander III in 1885, who had decided to give his wife, Empress Maria, an Easter egg to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. His extravagant gift was inspired by an egg owned by his wife’s aunt which had enthralled her as a child.
The Empress was so delighted by the gift that Alexander appointed Fabergé the “goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown” and commissioned another egg the following year, after which the goldsmith was given freedom for the design of future imperial Easter eggs, and their designs became more and more ornate.
The only eggs we’re likely to get are the hard-boiled or chocolate kind. It’s highly unlikely we’ll ever own a Fabergé. There were only around 50 made and only 43 have allegedly survived. A further two were planned for Easter 1918 but were sadly never made, due to the Russian Revolution.
How do you like your eggs on Easter morning – solid chocolate or solid gold?