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Interesting facts and practical pieces of advice for Easter

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUEaster is a holiday that is rich in different traditions not just in Latvia, but elsewhere in the world as well. Easter is closely tied with religion. However, there are some other explanations, traditions and interesting facts worth knowing about Easter.

Interesting facts:

-The word Easter may have come from the name of an Anglo-Saxon goddess, Ēostre.

-The tradition of colouring Easter eggs and gifting them to others came from the Ancient Roman Empire, when Mary Magdalene presented the Roman Emperor Tiberius a red coloured egg as a symbol of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.

-The symbol of Easter is an egg – it symbolizes rebirth, new life, wholeness and the Sun.

-The second most popular symbol of Easter is the bunny – it symbolizes innocence, cuteness and fertility. According to a legend, Ēostre would turn one bird into a bunny every spring. She then sent it as a good spirit to find out how humans lived. In official literature, the Easter bunny is mentioned for the firs time near the year 1500.

-Ancient Latvians celebrated Spring Equinox o Easter – the day when light gains victory over dark.

-Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after full Moon. This makes it a different data every year.

-Hens produce 1.2 trillion eggs in the world every year. A single person consumes 173 eggs annually.

-The smallest bird eggs in the world are produced by hummingbirds (smallest hummingbird recorded in history weighted 0.365 g). The largest bird eggs are produced by ostrich (heaviest recorded in history weighted 2.589 kg).

-A single hen produces more than 259 eggs per year.

-Every year, 90 million chocolate bunnies are produced in the world. The first large chocolate bunny was produced in 1890. It was 1.5 m high.

Easter traditions in Latvia:

-Easter traditions in Latvia include egg fights. Eggs are also consumed with salt, so that no lies would be told. Swings are also an old Easter tradition in Latvia – it is said that it helps maintain freshness during summer.

-It is believed that swings should be disassembled after Easter so that evil witches would not use them.

-Ancient Latvians believed there is also a meaning behind the number of eggs that are received as gifts. If a girl gives a boy five eggs on Easter, it means she wants to marry him. Two eggs demonstrate dislike.

Easter is also widely celebrated around the world. Different countries have different traditions:

-The Swedish believe magic cast by witches during Easter is especially strong.

-In Hungary, in order to improve health and good looks of women, men read special rhymes and splash women with water. It is believed this tradition gave way to the now popular ‘wet T-shirt contest’.

Practical pieces of advice:

-One of the most popular Easter traditions in Latvia is the so-called egg battles. In order to make the egg shell strong, eggs should be kept in warm water for at least an hour prior to boiling. A teaspoon of salt should be added to the boiling water. After that, eggs should not be put in cold water immediately; they should cool down on their own.

-Traditionally eggs are coloured using onionskin. This gives a good red colour. It is possible to colour eggs in green colour by using marigold flower, nettle, peppermint, yarrow or rye grass concoction. Blue colour can be obtained using red cabbage, blueberry, chokeberry or black concoction.

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