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12.04.2020Stefanie C. Jost

Easter - the Feast of the Resurrection!

For many, Easter means the gathering of the family Some have fasted beforehand and are looking forward to the hearty Easter treats and a glass of wine. Many go to their church for the consecration of meat. The children have been busy painting eggs and the parents have hidden little Easter nests in the garden or in the flat. As a child, Easter was my favourite holiday It started on Maundy Thursday, when I had my favourite, untypical for a child, meal: Spinach with fried egg and roast potatoes. My mother didn’t like to cook, but I always insisted. And everyone had to sit together at the table and eat spinach. On Good Friday we fasted – never really before, but on that specific day it was very strict. There was mostly only soup and water all day, which of course fueled the anticipation for Saturday. On Holy Saturday, we all got dressed up, I always got dressed in my dirndl and we prepared little wicker baskets. In it was a small Easter pineapple, a piece of smoked meat and an Easter horseradish, a colourful boiled egg and a horseradish root. A small palm bush was added and everything was covered with a beautiful white embroidered cloth. I once embroidered such a cloth with my grandmother. The letters IHS and a cross were embroidered on it with red thread – at that time it seemed like a life’s work to me, due to my ongoing war with cross-stitch. At noon I went with my parents to our village church for the consecration of the flesh. We always met all our relatives there. There were usually so many people from the whole village that we had to stand in the square in front of the church. The priest would then go around with his incense burner and bless our baskets with the good food. At the time, I thought it stank terribly and I sincerely hoped that our snack would not taste of the incense afterwards. After the consecration, we went together to my aunt Elfi and uncle Helmut’s house. While grandma and grandpa drank coffee on the terrace, the other adults set the table and prepared everything for the snack. Meanwhile, I searched for the hidden nests in the garden with my cousin Michaela and my cousin Helfried. Helfried was a world champion at it and always found the most chocolate. The highlight of the day was the joint snack. Everyone ate from everyone else’s baskets. We shared everything. I liked that best, because Helfried also always shared his haul of sweets with us girls. We always sat together for a long time on that day and laughed and gossiped. We children played in the garden and had fun with grandma and grandpa. In my memory, we were always a bit more “together” on this day than usual. When my grandparents died and we children grew up, that stopped. I moved away from the village and started to lead my own Easter tradition. In my memory, however, it will always evoke a wonderful feeling of warmth and security

This year Easter will be very different for many families Grandma and Grandpa and the other relatives will probably not be able to be together. The consecration of meat in church will not take place. What remains, however, is the origin of this celebration. Easter is the celebration of the resurrection. It may sound a little naive, but to me it gives hope and courage and confidence. Our government’s measures in the fight against Corona seem to be bearing fruit and the prospect of relaxation measures in Austria makes many breathe a sigh of relief. The world has been turning a little slower for weeks. Our hectic everyday life and fast pace have been slowed down. We have a lot of time to take a deep breath, to reflect, to become aware of what the important things are. When this time of “social distancing” is over and we are allowed to embrace our loved ones again, the hugs will last a few seconds longer, the conversations will be appreciated more and we will certainly experience the joy of it more intensely than before. Perhaps there will also be a new tradition in the future: “The day Corona is over” – may become the biggest family celebration there is. So, I would celebrate that. In this spirit and with this hope, I wish you all a wonderful Easter – make the most of it and look forward to our new celebration! Because “The day Corona is over” will come and then you can celebrate together. All the best, your Stefanie #stayhome #flattenthecurve

Stefanie C. Jost
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