There was certainly nothing trivial about the events of that first Easter Sunday, but that hasn’t stopped magazines from cranking out baskets of Easter trivia year after year.
Admittedly, magazine writers are trapped on a hamster wheel of producing seasonal material. (“See the latest table settings for National Fasting Week!”)
The widening divide between the sacred and secular aspects of Easter apparently requires some dumbing down of the tidbits. Woman’s Day magazine thought it necessary to note that there’s no mention of an Easter Bunny in the Bible (although the bunnies would be good at the “begetting” business).
Perhaps Woman’s Day should also have stipulated that there is no Island of Misfit Pharisees in the Bible. Or that no reputable prophet ever bellowed, “Verily, the unrighteous shall be as lost as last year’s Easter egg.”
According to Good Housekeeping, old superstitions held that if you wore new clothes on Easter, you would have good luck for the rest of the year. Of course, the exception was the poor bozo who got trampled by the horse and carriage of clothiers who were laughing uncontrollably all the way to the bank.
Multiple sources felt obligated to disclose that it took 27 hours to produce a batch of marshmallow Peeps back in the primitive days of 1953. Coincidentally, that’s how long it takes some people to remember what the preacher’s Easter sermon was about. (“Wait, wait…I’ve got it…no, I’ll just ask him at Christmas.”)
Most of the magazines displayed a morbid fascination with which part of a chocolate bunny gets eaten first. I’m surprised no one has turned this into a 13-part Netflix true-crime miniseries yet. *Sigh* While we’re obsessed with how people are nibbling candy, China is eating our lunch.
Americans spend up to $2.6 billion on Easter candy each spring. Apparently, that’s because nothing says “rebirth” like begging for Type 2 diabetes.
In Finland, children dress as witches on Easter Sunday. All I’ll say is that maybe Finland needs to direct some more of their socialized medicine to the pediatric wing.
Good Friday is not a national holiday and is officially recognized in only 12 states. Analyzing the list of states, I really can’t find a common thread. Maybe each of those states just happened to have a marketing guru who came up with a slogan along the lines of “Come for the tax rate/beaches/mountains…Stay to think about someone dying an agonizing death on the cross. Oh, yeah…and the biggest fireworks stand in seven states!”)
According to Parade magazine, effigies of Judas Iscariot are burned during Easter bonfires in countries including Greece, Mexico and Spain. Of course, here the effigies would be taken on a late-night talk-show rehabilitation tour. (“Dad! I saw the smoke and was worried you had started burning Judas in effigy.” “No, I just burned the Easter ham. I dozed off on the sixth chapter of the chocolate bunny miniseries.”)
It was also Parade that featured a quiz stating that the impulsive apostle Peter was the first person to enter the Empty Tomb. They strayed from orthodoxy, however, when they implied that he announced, “Now it’s time to cash in on the Tiny Empty Tombs trend! Ka-ching!”
Tired of ephemeral magazines? My timeless book “Yes, Your Butt Still Belongs in Church” is drawing favorable reviews on Amazon.
Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at firstname.lastname@example.org and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”