As the last days of March fell from the calendar, mild “like a lamb” they were not. Especially on the 31st, the early morning resembled a scene from a Sherlock Holmes mystery. Fog blanketed the foothills and by evening a light rain began to fall. Let’s call it a mild spring rain. This season’s rain total now stands at 11.02 inches, and a promise of an April shower.
April dawned in stellar beauty on Sunday. North winds cleared the fog, revealing robin-egg blue skies. No one could doubt spring’s arrival. This week also brings the religious celebrations of Passover and Easter. Their histories are intertwined, but they commemorate very different events. Both occur in the spring and have a common theme of renewal and rebirth. Easter commemorates, for Christians, the renewal of life as Jesus rose from the dead – eternal life is revealed. On Passover, the Jewish people fled Egypt and the bondage of slavery. Their freedom is renewed and they are reborn into their faith at this time.
At some point in my religious training, I was fascinated by the idea that Jesus was actually Jewish – what a concept to a 6-year-old! And the Last Supper was a Passover Seder. What next?
Well, if you shift slightly away from the religious aspects of Easter, you literally head straight down the rabbit hole…
Favorable weather with highs in the mid 70s is expected this weekend. No umbrellas needed while hunting for eggs this year. So with Passover being observed this weekend, I wondered … do Jewish children dye and look for hidden eggs also?
I consulted with my dear friend Leonard Coutin (photographer and writer for CV Weekly) on this matter. This is what he shared, as a Jewish boy growing up in Glenoaks Canyon: “I did enjoy egg hunts and remember coloring eggs with dye. Great fun! My parents never associated any real religious meaning or emphasis to it. All the girls wore cute outfits during this time. We always had to wear nice clean clothes. A good Jewish boy will attend a Seder or two to hear the story of the Exodus from Egypt. Reading the story and following the traditional chants was always important at our house. The best thing after a large meal was the hiding of the afikomen.”
This is where Leonard left me – on my own to research. Afikomen, which literally means dessert, is one half of the matzo broken off and saved until after Passover dinner. It is then hidden for the children to find. Rewards of money and candy are given. It is said this tradition helped little ones stay awake during the long evening.
Two springtime holidays, both religious – we can appreciate and enjoy their differences and similarities. The weather conditions are also in agreement. Perfect!
“Chag Sameach” ~ “Happy Easter”
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.