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CINDY DAY: Easter water before the Easter chocolate

Breathtaking photo of a spring sunrise on Mountain Road, Smithfield, N.B. - Shari Watson
Breathtaking photo of a spring sunrise on Mountain Road, Smithfield, N.B. - Shari Watson

Easter can’t come soon enough. I am Catholic and still observe Lent. Every year for as long as I can remember, I’ve been giving up chocolate for Lent. People who know me know how much I love chocolate. I have a small piece of very dark chocolate every day with my afternoon tea.

As you can imagine, the countdown to Easter and that first bite of chocolate is on, but I always loved Easter. It started with an Easter egg hunt in the barn and, by the end of the day, we were hopefully hungry enough to enjoy the fabulous feast mom had prepared for friends and family that gathered around the table.

That was one ritual back on the farm; another started long before we tasted our first chocolate. Before going to bed Saturday night, we had to do two things: check on the weather and the sunrise time for Easter morning. On Easter Sunday morning, I would accompany Grandma to the field behind the house. There was a creek at the end of the field and that was our destination. We carried a pail and off we went. Grandma was there to fill the pail with Easter water or, as she called it, “Eau de Pâques.” The tradition varies a little from region to region, but a common premise is that, to be its most powerful, Easter water must be drawn just before dawn from running water: a spring, a stream or a river. Prayers are often said while the water is being taken.

This water has special properties. It never goes bad and it cures skin ailments and vision problems. Drinking it at the source ensures a healthy year ahead. If this wasn’t an Easter observance in your home it might seem odd, but it does reflect the important place water has always held in the Christian faith, most notably as a symbol of baptism and the Resurrection.

After a very early start to the day, too much morning chocolate and the excitement of a house full of guests, we always slept very well Easter night!

In case you’re interested, here are a few Easter Morning sunrise times (local times):

Halifax: 6:55 a.m.

Sydney: 6:43 a.m.

Charlottetown: 6:52 a.m.

St John’s: 6:39 a.m.

Labrador City: 7:01 a.m.

Happy Easter to you and your family!

Today’s weather fact

Did you know February can never have a Blue Moon? Since there are roughly 29.5 days between full moons, it’s impossible to fit into a 28- or 29-day month.

Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.

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