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Column: Have a happy and blessed Easter

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Christians around the world will celebrate the Resurrection Festival of Jesus Christ on Sunday. The Easter celebration is the oldest and most elaborate celebration of the Christian church.

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During Lent, the 50 day period starts with Ash Wednesday and ends Sunday. People prepare for the celebration by going to mid-week church, praying and fasting.

Easter is a movable feast that is not always held on the same date. It can be as early as March 22 or as late as April 25th. The date depends on the moon and the sun on the date of the vernal equinox, "equal night and day."

Easter festivals are held around the world. Some believe the name came from the direction East, where the sun comes up. Anglo-Saxons called the whole month "Easter-monoth," month of the growing sun.

Easter marks the rebirth of nature and contains many signs of the outdoors. The chicks and lambs are signs of good luck, bunnies give birth to five or six litters a year and represent richness of nature's new life. These and many other symbols show the joy of life for the coming springtime as the rebirth of nature begins a new season.

Plants and flowers are also an important part of this holiday. The crocus, daffodils, tulips and Easter lilies symbolize Easter and spring.

Lilies are shaped like bells or trumpets. They remind people of joyful music. Their small and simple form stands for everything pure and perfect.

Hot cross buns, sweet rolls filled with raisins, are popular in both the United States and Great Britain. They are marked with a cross made from a sugar frosting. Ham is a traditional meat. In many countries the pig is a sign of good luck and health.

Easter is a time of joy filled with family traditions. Many involve family get-togethers, spiritual practices or community events, thus becoming a part of your family's rich history. Regardless how you celebrate, it is the beginning of new life both in nature and our lives.

As you join family and friends to celebrate the holy season, pause for a few minutes and reflect the true meaning of Easter. It was the Resurrection that brings hope for all of us in our world of uncertainty.

Happy Easter and Blessed Passover to our readers. God Bless you all.

Corn and cabbage slaw

8 cups shredded cabbage

1 cup chopped onion

3 cups cooked corn

1 cup sharp cheese, diced

4 tablespoons ripe black olives, sliced

Combine in salad bowl

1 cup salad dressing

4 tablespoons mustard

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

Combine dressing ingredients and pour over salad in bowl. Refrigerate before serving. Yield: 12 servings

Fruit cobbler

1 cup sugar

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine and pour into 9 x 13 greased baking pan. Add:

4 cups fruit -- fresh, frozen or canned, drained.

Bake for 40 minutes in 350 degree oven. Yield: 12 servings

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