Sunday, April 4, 2010

Deja Vidiot: The history of Easter traditions in less than four minutes

Posted By on Sun, Apr 4, 2010 at 10:48 PM

Bunnies? Eggs? I dont get it! Silly Rabbit, ask The History Channel!
  • "Bunnies? Eggs? I don't get it!" Silly Rabbit, ask The History Channel!
Why are eggs painted, then hidden for children to find on Easter? Why is a mysterious bunny credited with having delivered them? And why are children given baskets full of candy?

I never actively wondered the answers to these questions, but I'm sure in the back part of my brain, on the long unwritten list of Things I Never Knew I Always Wanted to Know, I jotted a mental note that lookedsomething like: "Easter. WTF?"

On Friday night, I was hanging out with my father-in-law in Twin Falls and we lazily zoned out to a random special on the military achievements of George Washington. Did you know that at one point during the Revolutionary War, George Washington suffered a pair of defeats in a row: one of them being the loss of Philadelphia, at the time the United States' capital and most populous city; that he lost favor with the American people, and that General Horatio Gates was poised to take his place? Man, I love the History Channel.) In the middle of the program, some text popped up on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Traditionally, on-screen advertisements, even for other shows on the same network (like, say, the ad for V that obscured the subtitles on Lost the other night, grrrrrr!) are annoying, but this time said text somehow unfurled the scroll-like list in my brain.

"The history of Easter traditions uncovered" (or something like that), it read, are available on The History Channel's Web site at www.history.com/easter.

"Sweet," I said. "I can finally check that off my list." So I surfed over and checked it out.

There are four long paragraphs on the main page, but if you're Vidiotic like me, you'll read the first couple of words, then start looking for something shiny. So, I've hyperlinked the 3:59 minute-long video, History of the Holidays: Easter, here. Watch that and you'll know why Uncle Bob dresses up like a bunny, gives out candy to all your cousins and hides eggs in the backyard.

And then we can both get back to answering more important questions like, "Do I buy Easter candy early so I can enjoy it on Easter, or do I wait until next week and get it for half price?"

(FYI: The correct answer? Wait 'til next week, of course.)

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