Posted by: travelrat | December 19, 2010

Eggs for Easter

In many places, they celebrate Carnival. The word comes from Latin Carne Vale = ‘Farewell to meat’. This usually involves several weeks of merriment and celebration; sometimes even licence and debauchery, culminating in Mardi Gras, when everything stops, and everyone gets down to six weeks of serious self-denial.

But, there’s none of this in England. We celebrate by eating pancakes. Sad, or what?

The pancakes use up the fat and eggs forbidden during Lent. Any eggs laid during Lent were hard-boiled, to preserve them till Easter. This led to a surplus of hard boiled eggs, so children would often dye them, or paint faces on them.

On Easter Sunday, the children rolled their eggs down a nearby hill, to see which would go furthest without breaking. At school, they told us this represented the rolling away of the stone on Jesus’ tomb, but some authorities think that ‘pace-egging’, as it was called, long predated the arrival of Christianity in England.

We don’t see pace-egging so much these days, but we still see eggs … made of chocolate; also forbidden during Lent. A Salisbury chocolatier, Michael Snell (now retired) used to pride himself on his window displays of chocolate eggs at this time of year.

I once saw a Sikh getting onto a bus with one of Michael Snell’s gigantic chocolate eggs under his arm.

‘I thought you didn’t celebrate Easter?’ asked a curious fellow passenger. The Sikh gave a gentle smile,

‘We don’t … but my children still like chocolate!’

This post has been entered into the GranTourismo/HomeAway Holiday Rentals travel blogging competition


  1. Hi Keith,
    Wow, that is one huge chocolate egg, looks fantastic. Very Interesting, I didn’t know the story about Carnival, had to have a bit of a smile, pancakes, really, that is kind of sad.
    I love it “my children still like chocolate” what a great comeback.

  2. I hope you win, Keith. This is a great post. Love the story. The egg is enormous!

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by HomeAwayUK, Lara & Terence. Lara & Terence said: Go Keith! RT @NomadKeith My entry for Dec comp at @HomeAwayUK #GrantourismoComp […]

  4. I love your story! It reminded me of painting Easter eggs with my Russian grandmother as a child! Great memories.

    Now, you know you still have til the 28th if you want to get another Christmas post in too – and break your record? 😉 I think we’re going to have to give you a prize for most number of entries!

    Merry Christmas, Keith!

    • Same to you!

      Don’t think I’ll be able to manage another entry, though. We’re going away on Wednesday (weather permitting!) & got a lot to do before them.

  5. Thanks for your entry and best of luck!

    A very Happy New Year 2011!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: