The bunny and the egg. That the high Christian holiday of Easter would be associated with two such non-religious totems seems strange. However it happened, we ended up with the bunny (always white; never a “rabbit”) and egg (brightly colored; sometimes elaborately decorated) as the emblems of the season. Eggs kind of make sense–Easter is either the celebration Jesus’ resurrection (if you’re Christian) or the spring holiday (if you’re pagan), and eggs certainly represent the spirit of rebirth (really, new birth) as well as anything. Bunnies? Not so obvious.
This blogger grew up in The South and though my memory is foggy, I don’t ever remember Easter being as big a deal–and I really don’t remember people decorating their houses the way Pittsburghers do. The variance is minimal and it’s basically all store-bought, but there’s a lot of it.
De rigueur are plastic colored eggs in both chicken and dinosaur sizes, sometimes strung on lines or hung from trees, often just resting in a front patch of grass or nestled under shrubs. Occasionally these come in a light-up strand like Christmas lights. You’ll often see die cut two-dimensional paper eggs pasted into windows and taped on door frames.
The other nearly as common element is the white Easter bunny. These creatures vary from hefty ceramic hand-painted garden centerpieces to plastic stand-up figures to fuzzy paper decorations that look like flat piñatas.
It strikes me that the palette is so slim. Just two images–plus the occasional flower, cross, or duckling thrown in as garnish–for such an important holiday. Compare this to Christians’ other big day: Mary, Joseph, the little lord Jesus, wise men, yonder star, the manger, Santa, elves, the sleigh, reindeer, presents, candles, candy, carolers–the list goes on and on. Christmas also gets its own defined color scheme, song book, and yearly television specials. I’m sure there are traditional Easter church hymns, but what about carols?
This year, Easter Sunday rolled around and this heathen had neither a church service nor holiday ham supper to look forward to. So with a glorious seventy degrees and cloudless blue skies The Orbit set out on an old school egg hunt.
We weren’t actually out to possess any eggs. We just wanted to get an idea of who was out there decorating and what they were doing with the eggs. Of course, we’ll also take any excuse to ride the Orbit-cycle for a couple hours and poke our nebby Orbit-schnozes into other people’s business–and believe you me: schnozes were poked in the making of this story.
The ride took us all over the place–The Strip, Spring Garden, Central North Side, downtown, South Side, The Run, Panther Hollow, etc.–but observant Orbit readers will note that almost all these photos came from just two neighborhoods: Bloomfield and Lawrenceville.
Are these places Easter central? Maybe. Or did we just poke a little harder or a little wiser in the well-known nearby terrain? Well, that’s believable too. We definitely had insider information on the Easter crazy pair of neighbors on Lorigan Street in Bloomfield that generated several of these pictures.
Along the way, we ran into one legitimate kid-centric egg hunt taking place in Arsenal Park. These eggs were not well-concealed–I must have spotted two dozen from the seat of my in-motion bicycle–but the target age of participants seems to start at the just-barely-walking, so I suppose it’s a fair contest.
The whole experience was good fun and good exercise and got us thinking that it might be interesting to stage an Orbit-sponsored, bicycle-based egg hunt for next year’s holiday. Would folks be into that? I don’t know, but maybe we’ll give it a try next year.