Old traditions

There used to be a tradition in my family.

I'm talking now about the good old days when I was a wee lad.  In other words, a very long time ago.

The tradition, which at the time was immutable was that on Easter Sunday we had the first picnic of the year.

There was another tradition which confused me a bit at the time and that was that the picnic had to include Simnel Cake.  That was a rather nice mush of fruit cake with layers of marzipan and part of the cooking process was that someone had to hold a two bar electric fire over the top of it to toast the marzipan.  That was usually my job as it was a pain in the arms.

Of course Simnel Cake wouldn't be allowed these days – much too nice and unhealthy.

The choice of picnic destination was down to a family vote.  In other words, my father decided where.  His favourite spot was in a wood on the banks of a river somewhere in the middle of Wicklow.  I have never been able to rediscover that spot which is a pity as it was a beautiful place.  All I know is that it was somewhere in the region of Woodenbridge or Laragh or somewhere.

The family is all gone now and I am the only one left.  Well, there is a brother somewhere but he mysteriously vanished some years ago.  Leastwise I haven't kept the Easter Picnic tradition up.

I couldn't be bothered cooking a Simnel Cake.

And I still can't find the picnic spot.

And anyway it's too chilly for a fucking picnic.

It was a daft time of year to choose in the first place.

Simnel Cake

Simnel Cake

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Old traditions — 10 Comments

  1. Easter does jump around the calendar a fair bit though. Back in my late teens, may have been early twenties, I recall travelling 'up the coast' to Whitehaven, shitlhole much like Barrow from where I was travelling', to watch Barrow take on Whitehaven at Rugby League at Easter. It was shirt sleeves and so hot the windows in the Cortina had to be wound down to get some cooling air in. Never been that warm on Easter since then though (1979, 80 or 81).

    I blame Al Gore and his warble gloaming nonsense. It's either that or the proliferation of propellers on sticks.

    • It always baffled me why they chose such a convoluted way of setting the date for Easter.  It sounds far more Pagan than Christian with its references to equinoxes and full moons.  Why couldn't they throw a dart at the calendar like they did with Christmas?

      • My wife (who is from a Buddhist country) was quizzing me about the fact that not only does the date for Easter keep moving, but also that Catholic Easter and Greek Orthodox Easter invariably fall on different dates. (Actually, this year they were the same, but normally they're not.)

        I had to admit to her that being a thoroughly non-religious person, I didn't have a fucking clue. Makes absolutely no sense to me at all.

        Funny old business, this religion stuff. Never did get the hang of it.

        • Ahhhh….I asked that too.

          Apparently Easter is the first Sunday after the full moon following the March equinox….with me so far?  The trouble is most countries use the Gregorian calendar BUT Greece uses the old Julian calendar to calculate it.    I know, clear as mud!

  2. Yesterday I read a post before yours which argues that indeed Easter is never mentioned in the good book and is in truth a Pagan festival.
    Imagine that. Billions of people being lied to by people in fancy dress and being scared enough not to look beyond the intepretations of the good book provided by the fancy dress people.
    I hear tell there are 66 chapters of the bible locked away in t'Vatican so perhaps the Easter bunny is actually in Rome most of the time which is why no bugger ever sees it dropping off easter choccies.


    Easter is an annual celebration observed throughout the Christian world. However, there are absolutely no verses in the Bible that authorize or endorse the keeping of this tradition. Further – the Bible does not mention anything about Easter eggs, Easter baskets, Easter bunnies, or even Lent.

  3. Totally off topic but I have just come back from Dublin, an expensive city but what amazed me was that they were even more brain washed about smoking than we are! I took 100 cigarettes and came back with 80 it was just too hard to find any place to smoke and a bit cold. I was asked how could I possibly smoke given all the risks, my answer that I liked it was met with disbelief.

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