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martes, 27 de marzo de 2012

Easter




Answer the following questions from the video:

1. Estimate date of Good Friday.
2. When was the Last Supper?
3. What do eggs symbolize?
4. Mention another myth of birth and renewal.


Pagan traditions give us the English word "Easter" which comes from the word "Eostre". The Anglo-Saxon word for April was "Eostre-monath" (the month of openings). However, it should be remembered that Christians celebrated the resurrection of Christ long before the word "Easter" was used, and the word they used for the celebration was "Pascha", which is derived from and linked to the Jewish festival of Passover. An Anglo-Saxon legend tells how the Saxon goddess Eostre found a wounded bird and transformed it into a hare, so that it could survive the Winter. The hare found it could lay eggs, so it decorated these each Spring and left them as offering to the goddess.


Origins of Colouring Eggs at Easter
Decorating and colouring eggs for Easter was a common custom in England in the middle ages. Eggs were brightly coloured to mimic the new, fresh colours of spring. The practice of decorating eggs was made even more famous by King Edward I of England who ordered 450 eggs to be gold-leafed and coloured for Easter gifts in 1290.
Two of the typical games to do with them is Eggs Rolling and Eggs Hunting.


Some food eaten during Easter are Simnel Cake and Hot Cross Bunstraditionally eaten hot or toasted on Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of then Crucifixion. It is also believed that buns marked with a cross were eaten by Saxons in honour of the goddess Eostre so in this case the cross symbolises the four quarters of the moon.


In Greek mythology there are also some connections to rebirth, for instance the myth of Persephone. Persephone was the daughter of Demeter and Zeus, who was abducted by Hades, god of the Underworld, to be his bride. Her mother was pretty sad and missing her daughter, so she begged Zeus to intervene in the matter and request Hades her daughter back to the world. Yet it was too late, because she had already taken the fruit of forgetfulness, the pomegranate, so she could not go back. Nevertheless, Zeus managed to arrange a deal, so she could spend half of the year with her mother (spring-summer season) and the rest of the year reamained as the queen of the Underworld.

Persephone also triggered a rather similar myth to her own one. Aphrodite gave her a box for safekeeping in the Underworld. Although Persephone was told not to open it, she did, so she saw the most beautiful boy she had ever seen. When Aphrodite claimed him back, Persephone refused it. Zeus, intervened once more and decreed that the boy, Adonis, should spend one third of the year with Aphrodite, one third by himself and the other one in the Underworld.

A phoenix is a mythical bird with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet. It has a 500 to 1000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn a new to live again. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self. In some stories, the new phoenix embalms the ashes of its old self in an egg made of myrrh and deposits it in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis.

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