Start Gathering Your Eggs

The Christian Celts (and the pre-Christians Celts, even, celebrating the newly thawed ground and the emergence of Spring) would celebrate Easter week with signs of new life and abundance.

Children would go about looking for nests in trees and underbrush, collecting any eggs they could find. They’d hide them in cubbies in their rooms, or under their houses, and on Easter they’d haul their findings out into the woods and have a pre-dawn breakfast of roasted eggs with the other children of the town.

On Easter Sunday the town would come together, having reserved some of those eggs for cake baking, and they’d present a village cake called a “prioncam cake,” which loosely means “capering cake” or “dancing cake.” It was decorated with woodland animals and a garland of wildflowers.

They’d put the cake in the middle of the gathering, and around it they’d dance and prance to fiddle and pipe. The best dance won the prize, the cake, hence that old saying, “That takes the cake!”

Now, on this week before Holy Week, is the time to start gathering your eggs…

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