7 Apr 2012

EASTER TRADITION IN BELGIUM

The first time I put my feet on Belgian ground in 1958 it was Easter, and I was very disappointed because I couldn't see a single Easter Bunny as I was used too since I was a child, no Easter decoration, there was just nothing.

In the shop windows I saw chocolate fishes symbolizing Good Friday but not one single Easter bunny. Unfortunately also little real yellow chicks which were considered as a toy, I found that rather cruel, some of them survived but most of them died. Mid 60th real chicks were not allowed anymore and they were replaced by fluffy fake chicks.

Later I learned that the bells represented the bells of Rome. The story said that as they ring every day of the year, they stop on Thursday until Saturday evening. During these days they go to Rome and rest from the whole year's work. Then on Easter Sunday they come back with a lot of eggs which they drop in parks or gardens or in flats and houses.

Today for all children Easter egg huntings are organized in parks by the city and colored eggs and chocolate eggs are hidden in the bushes or behind trees.

The chocolate shops which were full of chocolate bells, wrapped in golden foil and yellow ribbons in the past, were slowly, slowly replaced by the Easter Bunny, although some children still believe that the eggs and chocolates are brought by the bells of Rome.

With the arriving of the European Union the Easter Bunny arrived too and today you will see everywhere Easter Bunnies and eggs and only very few chocolate bells.







10 comments:

Linens and Royals said...

Easter egg hunts aren't so popular here. I think because the eggs would melt in the heat and the children might get bitten by something while looking in bushes and shrubs. The Easter bunny almost became extinct a few years ago as some wanted the Australian Bilby (a sort of bandicoot)instead. Now the bunny is back in favour.
I like the story about the bells.
Happy Easter.

sandra carlier said...

Three days of freedom!!! And I can't see an Easter egg after making 31 ones with the pupils!!! But I love the story!!! Those traditions are a plus in our life and families. i would want to make still two eggs by myself with decorations for Lya and Naemie, the grand daughters of my sister but I have not the courage. I will buy them ready!!! This afternoon!

Ecl Tan said...

Easter eggs and bunnies are commercialised products in Singapore. I see them but I don't buy as they are festive products and thus costly.

Cezar and Léia said...

There is a couple of choco bunnies over here that will soon be in that same situation...
God bless you!
Cezar

Maribeth said...

If I do chocolate, I am sunk! So we are doing cupcakes with coconut. Not my favorite! Good! I won't eat them!!!

A Lady's Life said...

I love the Easter Bunny and the eggs. They make it fun for the kids to run around with little baskets. Their eyes become big and cheeks rosy.So much fun.
I like leaving baskets for children at the door so when they open they find it and begin to ask questions as to where it came from. And then you come over and say something like
Gosh! Did you see that big rabbit that just high tailed it round the corner? He had a pink/blue tail.lol
Kids are so much fun to play with :)I once left one on the car trunk for my son to see and he was flabbergasted to find a basket there.I wonder if he remembers those days. Probably not.

Katie and Glogirly said...

We didn't know any of that! It's fun to learn a little history : )

I'll be trying to keep my own "paws" off the chocolate! I may or may not be successful. ha!

Happy Easter,
Glogirly

Mara said...

In our family we always eat a lot of real eggs for Christmas, but I don't think any child thinks that the (chocolate) eggs come from the Easter Bunny. Egg hunts are being organised more often now though.

Sallie (FullTime-Life.com said...

Kind of too bad that the unique tradition has been assimiliated into the same one everyplace else has. When very small, our kids and grandkids got baskets with candy and chocolate and maybe a small toy. The most fun thing to do was dye real (hen's) eggs ...everybody helped on the day before Easter and then we decorated the house with them and ate them for days and days and days! Fun times.

Jenny said...

That was really interesting Gattina.