Happy Easter!

On Good Friday the sunset coloured the sky like an Easter egg! It was the beginning of four days at Kūgures, celebrating springtime with gusto. Mikus and Matīss had so looked forward to this holiday, and their excitement about all the Easter traditions got the rest of us excited too. Not to mention that the snow has finally melted, and there is hope and life and warmth in the world...

M and M hung out quite a bit with vectēvs, all of the enjoying his new 'netbook' computer, compact and SO interesting. On Saturday night we coloured eggs the Latvian way, with onion skins. My brother's girlfriend, Ilze, was very active in organising the egg colouring, and between all of us we created the most impressive set of Easter eggs we've ever made at Kūgures. This year we had two pots on the stove - one with red onion skins and the other with the traditional brown ones. We also surrounded some of our eggs in rice - a first for me - which gave a 3D speckled quality.

I never really knew I looked like a witch until I saw this photo! Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble...

Showing off Jem's filigree masterpiece. The only one he made, and what a beauty it was.

Sunday morning was the traditional Sunday breakfast - for which my ageless grandmother also arrived. She proceeded in trying to beat my kids at egg-smashing comps.

Mikus and Tiss thought this was the greatest, and after showing reasonable decorum on Sunday morning by only smashing the eggs we could eat, pulverised the rest of them this morning (Monday). Too tempting to have unsmashed Easter eggs just hanging around on the table!

By the time we finished breakfast, the Easter Bunny had done his delivery (late riser, that bunny of ours). It is always funny to watch the kids waltz straight past the eggs, hidden in the most obvious of spots. According to my parents I used to do exactly the same.

Another springtime tradition is birch tree tapping. We are not masters of this procedure (we always worry that we are somehow hurting the tree!), so we asked our neighbour and farmhand, Normunds, to show us how its done this year. He used a drill much bigger than we would normally use, and got an impressive stream of juice dripping into the bucket, which we emptied a number of times during the next few days. The juice is like pure, cold water, with a hint of sugar. If you leave it for a few days it goes cloudy, and a bit sour - an inimitable birch juice taste, which I can't adequately describe. We had so much juice that we ended up boiling it for coffee, and I still have about 5 litres I've brought with me back to Riga.

My brother also put the hammock back up in the garden. Certainly a sign that summer is coming. The boys spent a good few hours playing their favourite game - "on a flying carpet", or "on a rocket ship" - whereby they both cling on for dear life and swing the hammock violently, all the time screaming instructions to each other as if they were co-pilots on some possessed devil-craft. Hours of fun for any male under the age of 10.

So there it is. Easter at Kūgures. Wouldn't rather be anywhere else!

2 Responses so far.

  1. Madeleine says:

    That looks like a beautiful weekend! I'm particularly interested in the onion-skin egg decorating! I haven't decorated eggs for years... :-)

  2. Fifee says:

    How fabulous. Your blog is a wonderful chart through the seasons and ritualistic events of the year. Wot a long blog too! You r back baby... Happy eggs to u and yours, my dear.

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