Q: Spring is in the air but what are the spring holidays?
A: The most important is Easter also known as the spring holiday. But let us have a closer look.

 

Not a fixed date, 7 weeks after Shrove Tuesday, the end of the 40 days of Lent.

IN THE PAST
People would have already started to save eggs some time before Easter.

Eggs were also sacrificed on the field to ensure a good crop. Women and young females did not leave home on the second day of this holiday. Young men walked from house to house and collected eggs that were given as a sign of appreciation. The men who had more eggs were more respected and admired.

It was a time to start using the swings. There were big swings in the villages and young people gathered there. They sang, danced and tested each other’s strength.
When the young men had built a swing, they were given eggs as a reward. Eggs were dyed with onion peels, birch leaves, bedstraw.

      
Egg cracking is an old tradition to entertain people. There were also some tricks. The sharper end of the egg was used for cracking.  It was important how the egg was held in hand to avoid it cracking and so win the competition. The one whose egg was cracked was a loser and had to give his/her egg to the winner.

 

       

Traditional food : eggs and egg butter, milk curds (quark) and  veal.

NOWADAYS
Eggs are dyed and given as a present.  While cracking eggs is a very popular and widespread custom, egg-rolling is mostly known in South-East Estonia, where it is enjoyed by the whole village.

Willow branches with catkins are brought home.

Chocolate eggs are used to decorate at home and give as a present.

Traditional food: eggs and paskhaPaskha, Pascha, or Pasha  is a festal dish made from farmer's cheese or  cottage cheese.

GLOSSARY
bedstraw - madar
birch leaves - kaselehed
catkin - urb
curds - kohupiim
Easter  - ülestõusmispühad, lihavõtted
egg cracking - munakoksimine
egg rolling - munaveeretamine
onion peels - sibulakoored
swing - kiik
to sacrifice - ohverdama

Exercise 3

Exercise 4