Proud of Texas: Easter traditions

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - The Easter Bunny being created in this class at Blue Moon Gardens, are more of home decor than for hunting.

The method, using a sharp needle, punching a felt covered, egg-shaped base is called felting.

While these crafters appreciate the felted eggs beauty and rarety, the egg as a religious symbol isn't lost on them.

"It symbolizes Christ coming out of the grave."

Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back at least to the 13th Century.

One explanation for the custom is that eggs in ancient times were a forbidden food during the Lenten Season, so people would decorate the eggs and then eat them on East in celebration.

Easter egg hunts and egg rolling are two popular egg-related traditions. The hunts are among the most beloved childhood memories. Tyler's Bergfeld Park is the site for an annual hunt, where beeping eggs lead sight challenged children to their location.

The Whitehouse Easter Egg Roll is an annual event initiated in 1878.

Some have considered egg rolling symbolic of the stone blocking Jesus tomb being rolled away, leading to his resurrection.

Among the most popular sweet treats associated with Easter are chocolate eggs, which date back to the early 19th century Europe, as a symbol of new life.

Now while the bible makes no mention of the bunny that delivers the much loved Easter eggs, it nevertheless has become an important Easter symbol. In our country ,the Easter Bunny's Easter morning deliveries have been expanded to include decorated baskets filled with candy and gifts.

Additionally, children often leave carrots for the bunny in case he gets hungry from all his hopping.

In New York City, the Easter Parade tradition dates back to the mid-1800's.  Today, that tradition lives on with Fifth Avenue from 49th street to 57th Street shut down to traffic during the day. The fashionable Easter bonnet tradition also dates back to early Manhattan.

Here in East Texas, one of the favorite and most enjoyable customs of the Easter season is viewing beautiful flowers, usually at the height of their beauty around Easter.

Visitors flock to Tyler and Nacogdoches for their spectacular azalea trails, to Gladewater's Mrs. Lee's Garden for its golden daffodils, and to Linden to view the wild flowers. But whenever we view the bounty of an East Texas spring, there is usually a special tree enhancing its beauty.

The dogwood tree, with its snowy white blossoms, grows in abundance in East Texas. Visitors have come from all over Texas and adjoining states since 1938 to drive through Palestine's Davy Dogwood park.

The dogwood tree is celebrated for both its beauty and intriguing legend, a favorite story of story tellers for centuries.

According to the legend, each Dogwood blossom forms a cross with a rusty nail print found in each petal, stains of blood and a crown of thorns center each flower.

It's not a legend found in the bible but it's a cherished reminder of Christ's death on the cross and the rebirth symbolized in beautiful blossoms.

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