Saturday, May 3, 2014

April Showers Bring May Flowers by Cynthia Hickey

Especially with the lingering winter across much of the country, we are looking forward to spring. This short rhyme ...

Sweet April showers
Do spring May flowers

reminds us that spring does come and brings with it beauty. flowers” may have existed.
In 1557 a gentleman by the name of Thomas Tusser compiled a collection of writings he called A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry. In the April Husbandry section he wrote the lines above.

Another saying that might help us usher in the long-awaited spring is "Good things come to those who wait". Scientifically, many things contribute to spring. Weather, wildlife, temperatures, etc. are all used to bring in what many consider the most joyful time of the year. Even Easter promises us new life, spiritually and earthly.

I remember many times as a child growing up in the Ozark mountains where we hid Easter eggs in the house because spring was taking its time arriving.

Here are some historical ways spring was celebrated:

It seems probable that around the second century A.D., Christian missionaries seeking to convert the tribes of northern Europe noticed that the Christian holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus roughly coincided with the Teutonic springtime celebrations, which emphasized the triumph of life over death. Christian Easter gradually absorbed the traditional symbols.

In Medieval Europe, eggs were forbidden during Lent. Eggs laid during that time were often boiled or otherwise preserved. Eggs were thus a mainstay of Easter meals, and a prized Easter gift for children and servants.

In addition, eggs have been viewed as symbols of new life and fertility through the ages. It is believed that for this reason many ancient cultures, including the Ancient Egyptians, Persians, and Romans, used eggs during their spring festivals.

Many traditions and practices have formed around Easter eggs. The coloring of eggs is a established art, and eggs are often dyed, painted, and otherwise decorated. Eggs were also used in various holiday games: parents would hide eggs for children to find, and children would roll eggs down hills. These practices live on in Easter egg hunts and egg rolls. The most famous egg roll takes place on the White House lawn every year.

Hares and rabbits have long been symbols of fertility. The inclusion of the hare into Easter customs appears to have originated in Germany, where tales were told of an "Easter hare" who laid eggs for children to find. German immigrants to America -- particularly Pennsylvania -- brought the tradition with them and spread it to a wider public. They also baked cakes for Easter in the shape of hares, and may have pioneered the practice of making chocolate bunnies and eggs.

After their baptisms, early Christians wore white robes all through Easter week to indicate their new lives. Those had already been baptized wore new clothes instead to symbolize their sharing a new life with Christ.

In Medieval Europe, churchgoers would take a walk after Easter Mass, led by a crucifix or the Easter candle. Today these walks endure as Easter Parades. People show off their spring finery, including lovely bonnets decorated for spring.

Thank you to for the fascinating research tips.

How do you celebrate Spring?

Multi-published and Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She has several historical romances releasing in 2013 and 2014 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold more than 150,000 copies of her works. She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at



  1. Cynthia, what a great post. Because I live in the Southwest desert, spring is not as big a deal as it was when I grew up in Indiana. I remember waiting and waiting for the first green grass to show through the brown. I loved the daffodils and other early flowers. That was a lot of fun to see after a long cold winter.

  2. Very interesting post. I've always wondered about some of our customs.

  3. Cynthia, I really enjoyed reading this. And, also the pretty pictures. There is a place not too far from the Houston area here in Texas, where there was a German Immigrant settlement. They have some beautiful Painted Churches there. The painted glass is beautiful. The widow ladies from my church got to visit there once. It was very interesting. I am always happy to see Spring arrive to see new things coming to life again. Blooming flowers, green grass, and trees leafing out anew. (Altho here the grass usually stays green. But, on the other hand, I sometimes dread it a little even tho I get cold easily, for Spring doesn't last long in this are, then it gets hot, hot, hot. to stay for a long time, even into autumn. Lots of new animal babies everywhere to. Love reading about earlier customs. Maxie

  4. Interesting to read about Easter and a Spring celebration for 'new life'. Too bad the Easter part is mostly dropped in our school vacations, which are now called Spring break instead of Easter break. Thanks for your interesting post. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com