Calculating the dates for Easter can be rather difficult, but roughly you can say it’s celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon in spring, which means somewhere between 22 March and 25 April.
A spring festivity means typical spring items like early blooming trees, eggs and young animals like lambs and chicks. Around the Netherlands one can find vases with branches of the tortuosa willow or forsythia decorated with ribbons, miniature chicks and colourful eggs. Everything seems just a bit brighter as everything is decorated in different shades of yellow and supermarket shelves are stacked with pre-coloured hard-boiled eggs and chocolate eggs in all kinds of flavours and fillings. It also seems there are never enough chocolate figurines of the Easter bunny.
In the week preceding Easter many children paint eggs, decorate them with stickers and colourful shrinking wrap. One of the tales is that the Easter bunny is very fond of the colourful eggs and wants everybody to see them so that’s why they are collected in one place and left at another. As the bunny is so busy, it just leaves the eggs in the garden. Another tale, probably an older one, tells us that the Easter bunny surprises families with eggs so they have enough energy for the heavy agricultural work again. But as the bunny’s basket is so full, it loses eggs while going from house to house so everyone finds some.
Whatever the origin, it’s tradition for children to go outside on Easter morning to find the chocolate and real eggs. The eggs are all hidden and it may take some time to find the ones hidden in weird and illogical places.
Some villages and cities organise an Easter egg hunt in a park or in city centre. It’s more competitive initiated and sometimes there is a price for the child that collects the most eggs.
Even Paleis Soestdijk, which has housed members of the royal family until 2004, has had its own yearly Easter egg hunt for nearly a decade and the ultimate goal is finding the gold egg.
If this has inspired to organise your own Easter egg hunt make sure you use chocolate or boiled eggs and compose a map of where you’ve put them. You don’t want to come out at Whitsun and breath in the awful smell from unfound Easter eggs.