Easter is full of odd traditions when you stop to think about them for a moment—why do chocolate eggs come from rabbits, and what do they have to do with the resurrection of Jesus?–and predictably, a good deal of that is just because they’re so old we long since stopped paying attention to where they come from. There are plenty of other places on the internet that will talk about eggs and ancient pre-Christian fertility rites, but I’m just going to focus on the Middle Ages for now because let’s face it, that’s where I live.
The three days before Easter—Maundy Thursday (named for the command Jesus gave his disciples, and not, as I thought when I was little, just an oddly-named ‘Monday Thursday’), Good Friday, and Holy Saturday were called the Triduum, and medieval people would, unsurprisingly, spend a lot of these days in church. Easter was, as now, the most important festival in the Christian calendar, which is presumably why it needed forty days of fasting and preparation to get ready for (which in turn is part of why people were so excited for it).
Below is a link to this very interesting post about Medieval Easter Traditions. I am a keen follower of this blog, as it doesn’t have the “scientific boredom” 🙂