Author Archive
Childhood
Holidays
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Easter Egg Hunts

Easter egg hunts have long been a family tradition for this informant. Every year, her parents will hide eggs for her and they will also paint eggs the night before. In the Easter eggs, they will hide candy or small toys. Of course, now that she is older it is more of a fun tradition they keep. However, when she was younger, her and her sister always had huge Easter egg hunts.

This year, a few days before Easter, this informant, me and many more of our friends went around campus at midnight at we hid a total of 1,000 filled Easter eggs in random places. After getting our bags of Easter eggs, we became the Easter bunnies and hid the eggs all around the school campus. We did not tell anyone we were doing so, but the next day, we found out that it was a great success and many people found the candy-filled eggs with delight!

When I was younger, my parents would hide eggs all around our backyard as well and then as we got older, we started going to the city-wide Easter egg hunts at Chase Palm Park in Santa Barbara. There kids from all over the town raced to get as many eggs as possible, some eggs would have candy, some eggs would have tickets to redeem for prizes. I always loved this and we would go with all our friends. The golden eggs in each arena would have extra big prizes too.

Easter has always been a time of traditions, as is any holiday. And easter egg hunts have been a tradition for many both in childhood and then in adulthood. I believe that many childhood traditions stay because when we all grow up and have kids, we then pass our childhood traditions to our kids, so in a way, we never stop hunting for eggs or trick or treating.

Holidays
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Easter Traditions

Every year on the eve of Easter, my informant’s mother and aunt would hide easter baskets around her backyard and throw green Easter grass in piles around the backyard as well. They would then make little tracks and make the Easter grass lead out the yard door to make it seem like the Easter bunny had left a trail. The first Easter that they had done this, the informant had woken up early and “prowled” around the apartment and backyard to look for Easter eggs. However, everyone else was still asleep and so she waited until her mother got up and told her aunt that she had already found all the baskets, but didn’t touch any of them. After everyone was awake, she went around to collect her Easter baskets and showed them how the Easter bunny had gotten in.

Easter originated as a pagan festival and then morphed through many other ways into the holiday it is today. The Easter bunny, though thought to be a random animal chosen to be associated with Easter, actually came from the original Easter Pagan Festival. The goddess Eastre’s earthly symbol was the rabbit and the Anglo-Saxons had worshipped her through the rabbit. In fact, Easter was not widely celebrated in America until after the Civil War, when it became popular with Christians. Eggs, on the other hand became associated with Easter because they represented fertility and rebirth.

Annotation/Additional Comments: More information about this folklore can be found at this source: http://www.phancypages.com/newsletter/ZNewsletter2599.htm. Easter has been a holiday that has been plagued by business as with many other widespread holidays. However, it is interesting to see that many of the traditions associated with Easter were actually traditions that originated with the holiday.

Holidays
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Riddle

  1. It walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three legs in the evening. What is it?

My informant questioned me with this riddle one day when we were walking back to our apartment. The answer is that it is man because when we are young (in the morning) we crawl on all fours, then as we grow older we walk on two legs and then when we are old (in the evening) we use a cane to help us walk and that is three legs.

This was The Riddle of the Sphinx, which Oedipus had to answer to pass into Thebes. If the traveler was able to answer the riddle correctly, then the Sphinx would destroy itself. However, until Oedipus had arrived, no one had solved the riddle and the Sphinx had eaten all the previous men before him. Apparently there were a few Sphinx stationed around Thebes, Greece and Egypt and all had riddles to be solved.

I think that humans are fascinated by riddles because they exercise the human mind. Also, this riddle in particular uses metaphor to compare a man’s life as times of the day.

Source/URL: http://www.jimloy.com/puzz/sphinx0.htm

Proverbs

There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

My informant told me about this proverb and it means that whenever something feels like it is free, there is usually a catch. When we were walking around the Los Angeles Festival of Books, she had said this because a man at the Los Angeles Times Booth offered us free umbrellas that were actually very cute. However, he then told us we would need to subscribe for a two month trial for the paper and that he would be taking down our credit card information too, so we decided not to fall into the trap.

Supposedly the origin of this proverb came from when saloons and bars would offer free lunches to people to get them to come into their bars for drinks. Now I feel like the proverb is very true in our society because everything is based around advertisements and media. So, businesses are constantly telling me that they are giving away things for free, but everything also comes with a catch.

Source/URL: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/tanstaafl.html

Proverbs

Two Heads Are Better Than One

This informant loves this proverb and he constantly would say this to me this semester. One day, when we were walking to a cafe we were trying to figure out a way to get through to another side the street in a quicker way. Once we figured it out, this is when he used the proverb.

This proverb means that two minds thinking together are often better than one mind thinking alone. It then suggests that collaborative thinking is a precious thing. The proverb was first recorded in John Heywood’s essay in 1546. The proverb then shows up in the Bible as well. Both use the phrase metaphorical to mean that it is better to work together and get multiple opinions and as well the work will be done quicker.

John Heywood’s A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue, 1546:

Some heades haue taken two headis better then one:
But ten heads without wit, I wene as good none.

Ecclesiastes, 4:9, in in Miles Coverdale’s Bible, 1535:

Therfore two are better then one, for they maye well enioye the profit of their laboure.

Source/URL: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/two-heads-are-better-than-one.html

Childhood
Game
Humor

I See London-Children’s Rhyme

I see London, I see France, I see _____’s underpants!

This is a popular rhyme amongst children and my informant remembered that he used to say it all the time. When they were either playing a hand clapping game or even just jump roping, the kids would sing this tune and pronounce that they saw so and so’s underpants, even if they happened.

I believe that sexual humor is always prominent no matter what the age and is especially getting more prominent in today’s culture. I remember boys would say this to girls in grade school and then chase them down to kiss them afterwards.

Customs
Initiations

Bachelorette Party

A little while ago, my informant’s sister got married. As with the custom, they had a bachelorette party for her and my friend was not happy about it because all the bridesmaids ended up asking about her sister’s sexual life and things they would do on the honeymoon. Even though they didn’t have a crazy bachelorette party that we do see in all the movies, it was still a tradition that they upheld.

I believe that the institution of marriage has countless numbers of rituals and traditions that occur before the wedding takes place and then after as well. These traditions happen as a way to ensure that the marriage will go well. We constantly see brides thinking of new ways to traditionalize marriage as well as customize their own so that it becomes a day they remember forever. The bachelorette party usually occurs before the wedding takes place and only women are allowed to attend. Most of the time women will go to a strip club or out partying and celebrate for the last time that the bride-to-be is going to be single.

general

Did I invite you to my BBQ?-Joke

Did I invite you to my BBQ? Then why you all up in my grill?

This informant loves to tell this joke just because of the utter ridiculousness of it. In fact, the sheer simplicity of the wordplay is why she tells it to people all the time. She heard about it first when she watched a movie called “The Clique” and one of the main characters used this to offend another girl.

I believe that jokes like this are humorous in society because everyone loves lighthearted wordplay. My informant did not know exactly where the joke came from before the movie. However, it plays on human interaction.

Humor

Pickup Lines

Man: Did it hurt?

Woman: Did what hurt?

Man: When you fell out of heaven?

My informant was actually told this pickup when she was out on the Row last weekend. She says that a guy jokingly asked her this and then she rushed for the door afterwards.

This pick-up line has been made popular in several movies and shows and suggests that the one being “picked up” is an angel that is fallen from heaven. Since the popularity of pick-up lines has increased, they have quickly become less useful and instead have become a matter of humor between friends. In fact, many times when someone actually uses a pick-up line on another person they are thought of as sleazy or cheesy.

Pick-up lines have since become a way of breaking the ice in a joking manner or a form of lighthearted flattery between friends. Though, I am unaware of how the pick-up line first originated, they have proliferated into a subcategory just as large as Knock-Knock jokes or other forms of humor.

Proverbs

The Grass Is Always Greener On the Other Side

My friend said this to me one day when we were discussing hair styles because she said she had always wanted naturally straight hair and I then responded by saying that I wanted my straight hair to be naturally curly. Both of us had no idea where this proverb had come from or where we first heard it, but then she remembered it being in the theme song of a song called “As Told By Ginger” that we watched when we were younger.

To my informant, this proverb means that no matter what we have we will always look onto something else and think that it is better. However, most of the time the situation you yearn for may not be better for you. I believe that this proverb signifies human being’s lust for things they cannot get. It is our natural tendency to see something and look back at our own situation and place an air of perfection around that thing we cannot have. By doing so, we ourselves forget that the other situation holds just as many consequences and troubles as our current one. Supposedly, this proverb comes the idea that someone may look into their neighbor’s yard and feel that their own garden is inferior.

Source/URL: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=The%20grass%20is%20always%20greener%20on%20the%20other%20side%20of%20the%20fence

[geolocation]