When my mother was alive, her favorite holiday was Easter. She would have to dye the eggs with beet juice to make them red (even though they came out brown) and would observe the rules of lent as if she was a priest. No meat, no chicken, no dairy. I’m still not sure what she ate but I do remember that by the last week of lent, she wasn’t a happy camper. The Saturday before Easter, should would fast all day, get more cranky and then go to mass that night to take communion to atone for sins she did not commit. The next day, Easter, we would have a lamb feast and life was good again.
To atone for my sins (for which there were several) I would abstain from drinking any alcohol during the week. I would partake on Friday through Sunday – I was not that much of sinner that required more than that. On the Saturday morning before Easter, I struggled through the few hours of church service without coffee and then go out for a breakfast feast with my cousin, children and anyone else that wanted to enjoy the morning. It was a tradition that we have kept for over 35 years. Sometimes there would be 10 of us, sometimes it was just my cousin and I. In either case, it was Easter and it couldn’t be beat. I bet it sounds like it could be like the “Alice’s Restaurant Massacre” except we didn’t get arrested.
Although my mother is gone, we still do the Saturday morning tradition but the Sunday dinner is not as it was. A few years ago I decided that since I was the only one cooking, Easter could not be celebrated on Sunday. I decreed the Easter holiday would have to be another day. It was much like when I decided that my youngest son who was inconveniently born on Christmas Eve, had to have the celebration with his friends in October. It was more reasonable and less stressful. I’ve always been about a less stressful life.
So whether it is celebrated on Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Saturday afternoon, or Sunday brunch it is still Easter. In remembrance of my mother, I used beet juice to dye the eggs. As when my mother did it, they came out brown. Anyway, it was still Easter.