April: Where’s the egg, the fools, the reflection, renewal?

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As I See It

By ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO

During the month of April, a lot of activities are lined up for us to celebrate! Aside from the Easter Week/Holy Week which most of us Christians revere, almost everybody is anticipating to participate in the Easter Egg Hunt. The traditional way is hunting for the eggs in hidden places during Easter which have prizes inside them! Children love to hunt as many as they can because the more they find… the better, the more money they get!

Last Sunday, long-time family friends Eric and Tiffany Aquino from Hayward, California tendered an Easter Brunch for relatives and friends and conducted an Easter Egg Hunt for children and even teenagers. It was fun and they were happy, especially the children who accumulated money and goodies.

There’s a version of the activity in the White House: The traditional White House Easter Egg Roll! President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump were honored to continue the timeless tradition of the White House Easter Egg Roll that dates back to 1878 with President Rutherford B. Hayes.

Last Monday, April 22, 2019, First Lady Melania Trump hosted the 141st Annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House. The day-long activities were participated by families with children 12 years old and younger who rolled their eggs on White House grounds!

This year’s souvenir White House Easter Eggs have an environmentally-friendly design. The keepsake eggs, that featured the stamped signatures of the president and first lady, came in four colors – purple, pink, green and yellow. The eggs were given as a souvenir to all children 12 years and younger who attended the Easter Egg Roll.

In an effort to be eco-friendly, all of the eggs have been crafted from Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood in the United States, according to a release from the White House.

The packaging was also designed to minimize waste and environmental impact and did not contain wood fibers from endangered forests and featured vegetable oil-based inks and a water-based coating.

The Official 2019 Gold White House Easter Egg features the Presidential Seal and includes the President and First Lady’s stamped signatures on the back. Festively packaged, these White House Easter Eggs were gifted giveaways.

The White House Easter Egg Roll officially dates back to 1878 during the presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes, but first-hand accounts suggest that informal festivities began with egg-rolling parties under President Abraham Lincoln. Starting in the 1870s, Easter Monday celebrations on the U.S. Capitol’s west grounds became so popular that President Ulysses S. Grant signed a bill that banned the rolling of eggs on Capitol grounds, citing landscape concerns.

In 1878, a group of bold children walked up to the White House gate, hoping to be allowed to play egg-rolling games there. President Hayes told his guards to let the children enter, and soon Easter Monday on the White House grounds became an annual tradition.

President Benjamin Harrison added music to the festivities in 1889 with the United States Marine Band. It became so lively that every year, everybody was looking forward to attending it.

Egg roll became so popular that the number of guests had to be limited, and… in 1939, the Secret Service had to go so far as shutting down a “racket” of children trying to sneak adults into the event for a fee.

The planning of the egg roll traditionally falls on first ladies, each incorporating her own tastes and interests to the event. First Lady Lou Hoover had part of the South Lawn roped off for folk dancing. First Lady Pat Nixon introduced the traditional egg roll races.

There were no egg rolls during World War I and World War I1, from 1917 to 1920 and from 1943 to 1945. And… food conservation and then construction on the White House prevented any celebrations from 1946 to 1952, as well. Fortunately, President Dwight D. Eisenhower reinstated the tradition in 1953.

The custom to receive a wooden Easter Egg when leaving the event began in 1981 — an idea instituted by First Lady Nancy Reagan — and became a keepsake cherished by guests that donned the signature of the President and First Lady. This was an added attraction everyone wants to have.

Other than April Fools’ Day and the Easter Egg Hunt/Roll, we also celebrate the week of Easter/Holy Week during the month of April! Actually, how many of us ever paused for a moment and reflected on our past as a way of seeing our future? Easter is a time for people to actually renew their faith and reflect on things. If we never did this, this is the time to do it! The month of April, Easter month, is a reflection month. It is not the time, as many are doing, on how many times we fooled somebody. Let us not be carried away by this practice handed down to us for generations. In fact, the real meaning of April fool’s Day actually, to my mind, is to make us remember that following somebody is never fun!

Don’t you think so?

I remember during Easter of 2011, our good friends Lito and Susan Roldan invited me and my wife Delia to watch an Easter play showing people to make the right choice in life. The Easter Drama Musical presentation was dubbed as The Door with original script and direction by Pam Serrano-Fernando.

I won’t forget the play because it depicted 13 realistic ways of life that are showcasing the life of Americans today. Yes, 13 different life-styles that started with a door – a door of opportunities – and ended with a door of one’s choice.

It was a good watch, just like the Easter presentation the following year in 2012, Not Just a Man, where the Easter Musical presentation depicted the life of Jesus, the Messiah, from boyhood to His resurrection directed by Debbie Moreno Balajadia and Joshua Bendanillo.

As we watched the Easter presentation, we were able to reflect on our lives and pictured how we can improve our life-style from the point of view of the greatest man on earth thereby making our choices for a better tomorrow.

According to scriptures, Jesus came back to life, or was raised from the dead, three days after his death on the cross. Through his death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus according Christian belief, paid the penalty for our sin, thus purchasing for all who believe in him, eternal life in Christ Jesus name. My wife and I attended Easter masses/activities at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Milpitas.

During Easter, we are not just hunting for the eggs, but we are celebrating the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ… actually, a soul-searching activity!

So, let us be reminded of the egg which symbolizes family, friends, repentance, reflection, reconciliation, renewal of faith, and a chance to amend our ways!

(For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at estiokoelpidio@gmail.com).

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