There are many ways to mark the onset of spring. The vernal equinox, March 21, is the most “scientific” way to mark the new season. For some, converting to Daylight Savings Time (“springing forward” in common parlance) signals the onset of spring, with a sudden shift in the time of sunset, yielding luxuriously long evenings of light. Many baseball loving friends of mine would suggest that “opening day” is really when the season begins…..and then there is Easter.
The date of Easter fell late this year, and with flowers in bloom all about town—this seemed the most compelling indicator of the new season, for me. Easter, the most sacred of Christian holidays observing the resurrection of Jesus, felt particularly jubilant this past week, and I tried to untangle the reasons that might be the case. This was certainly a wicked winter of milestone proportions, so the warm weather contributed to our communal spring fever. The fact that Easter and Passover, the great eight-day holiday honoring the Jewish liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt, so perfectly coincided doubled the excitement among the faithful, in our great City, I believe.
There were other, less lofty reasons for my heightened enthusiasm. Among my friends and colleagues, I see a bit of a baby boom, with children and grandchildren arriving at an impressive rate. Through the wonders of social media and instant picture sharing, I felt fully enveloped by everyone’s family traditions of the day, with these newborns, toddlers, and older kids, too. I relished seeing families attending church, kids hunting for Easter eggs, and little ones donning their finest new spring ensembles.
Finally, two community activities heightened the day’s energy. New York hosts an annual Easter Parade, focusing on—how shall we say—innovative, creative and original millinery. Along Fifth Avenue, folks, young and old, arrived with hat fashions that even those at the Kentucky Derby would admire. These mad hatters wandered around town and congregated in Central Park, which was dotted with breathtaking flowering trees. (On a stroll mid park, I was even drawn into a festival of hats organized by locals of Polish ancestry.)
One of the most delightful additions to our Big Apple Easter Basket, was The Faberge “Big Egg Hunt,” a truly brilliant charity event that had more than 250 highly stylized (and huge!) eggs hidden throughout the five boroughs. Each egg, created by an artistic team, had a unique theme and was enjoyed by city dwellers for the month of April. I managed to stumble across a few eggs on my daily routine, but for the serious Easter egger, a downloadable APP was made available to help in the hunt. The eggs were ultimately auctioned off by Sotheby’s, with proceeds going to Studio in a School, a program that brings art programs into public schools, as well as Elephant Family, an organization working to protect the mammoth creatures in Asia.
All of these things came together like a fabulous box of delicious Easter chocolates or a basket of beautifully colored eggs to make for a vibrant, upbeat, memorable holiday. Feast your eyes: