Latest News:  

English>>Life & Culture

Eggs, chocolate and the almighty bunny

(Global Times)

10:34, March 29, 2013

Easter Sunday, like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, has always struggled to keep a firm schedule. The day that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the Christian Calendar, Easter Sunday continually hops dates from year to year.

A quick glance at the range of imported goods in Beijing shops reveals this Easter is bounding nearer - this Sunday, March 31, in fact - with hoards of bunny effigies molded in milk chocolate and surrounded by chocolate eggs wrapped in colored foil.

The Easter bunny - that most recognizable modern symbol of fertility and rebirth - has its origins in medieval worship of the hare, which was once thought to be bi-gender. It was esteemed for having similar virtues to the Virgin Mary, namely reproduction and virginity.

Today, the Easter bunny brings sweet gifts to toothy tykes. Peeking out from supermarket shelves, it arrives just in time each year to kick-start a fresh round of egg hunts, egg paintings and chocolate binges.

Ready, set, hunt!

Easter gives kids the go-ahead to enjoy treats parents might otherwise try to keep out of their reach.

The Hilton Hotel, located near Terminal 3 of the Beijing Capital International Airport in Shunyi district, will hold its own Easter egg hunt this Sunday in the hotel's garden. The hunt is aimed at infants to older children. Hilton's branch manager, Ohad Tiktinsky, 34, says the egg hunt will include more than 1,500 secretly hidden eggs, with three golden eggs stashed away for lucky participants.

"Little kids will have an easier time searching for chocolate eggs in the grass, but the bigger ones will enjoy working a little harder to find the hidden eggs in trees or under bushes," he says.

As well as the egg hunt, the Hilton event will have a little petting zoo of white rabbits rented for the day from a local Beijing pet store.

The day's events will also include a healthy round of competitive sport. With six lines drawn on the garden's turf, kids will race with hardboiled eggs balanced on spoons.

"The winner will of course be rewarded with what all kids want for Easter, that being a chocolate rabbit they can devour," Tiktinsky says.

For mature audiences

Adults dining out on Easter will still find some treats around the capital, better suited to a more mature palate.

Included among Easter eats for adults this year are traditional bites such as spit-roast lamb and roast ham. Hot cross buns, a traditional British delicacy eaten at Easter, seldom make appearances in Beijing. These rich, cinnamon tea cakes filled with currents and marked with a white cross (representing the crucifix) are difficult to make without the right ingredients.

Chef Kang Yi'nan, 43, prepares the fare at Scene a Café, located inside China World Hotel on Jianguomenwai Dajie in Chaoyang district.

Kang says he has succeeded in mastering the preparation of hot cross buns over several years as a chef. But the buns rarely appear on menus either side of Easter, he says, and can only be made using a refined recipe that involves more than meets the eye.

"You have to pay extra attention to the softness of the dough when making hot cross buns. The currents and raisins should be soaked in rum first," he says, adding that they are thus a bigger hit with the adults than kids.

Topping each bun with a white cross is the most delicate part of the process, according to Kang, though he says other ingredients that tend to get overlooked include "small measures of ready-made orange peel and lemon chips," which give the spiced dough its signature zest.

Getting crafty

There's more to Easter than eating, though; don't forget the communal rituals of decorative handicraft that come with it. Every Easter, children are encouraged to use their saccharin highs to get creative with paint and the oblong canvas of the egg.

The Kerry Hotel on Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang district, will get messy for Easter in a less conventional way this year. Inviting families in CBD, Beijing-based charities and international kindergartens, the hotel will hang 500 painted eggs inside the hotel, rather than hiding them among the grass outside.

"We've reached out to schools and children's charities to get hundreds of eggs painted for our special indoor Easter tree this year," said Nico Braunwalder, 33, the hotel's director of food and beverages. "The tree is really all about bringing together the community we've built here among expat families."

Braunwalder says Easter Sunday, an arts and crafts table will be set out for kids to decorate eggs using a selection of paints, markers and glitter.

Hanging painted eggs from a tree indoors sounds like a recipe for disaster, but Braunwalder says the hotel is prepared to break a few eggs in order to make Easter special. That is, the hotel is prepared to empty each of the 500 eggs, one at a time.

"We've had our chefs and other members of staff making holes in eggs for days now. First, you make a hole in the top of an egg, then the bottom. Once that's done, you blow through one end, and the yolk and white comes out whole. Trust me, it works," he says.

We recommend:

Those Xiaorenshu we read in childhood

Trip planner: four-day trip to S China

Wonderful snapshots of flying buzzards

Forever Shangri-la: China's heaven on earth

Top 10 ever-victorious generals in history

Dreamy log cabins among woods

Top 10 best airports in China 2012

Mysterious Zhongnanhai in Beijing

Top 10 Chinese 'Kung Fu Kings' in Minguo period

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiXiang、Ye Xin)

Related Reading

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. High-sea training taskforce in Nansha Islands

  2. Marines conduct shooting training

  3. People search for gold in Colombia's Suarez

  4. Strong sand storm swallows Lanzhou

  5. The toughest roads to school

  6. TV on modern Chinese couple hits Africa

  7. Charming eye make-up in Fashion Week

  8. Serious in Seattle

  9. BYD profits tumble in 2012

  10. Beijing's second oldest McDonald outlet shut

Most Popular


  1. Opinion: It's high time to stop hijacking Tibetans
  2. Significant risks remain for global economy:BRICS
  3. BRICS summit offers bright sunrise
  4. Western leaders learned nothing from Iraq disaster
  5. What are the fruits of Obama's Middle East visit?
  6. Home prices thwarts people's 'Chinese dream'
  7. Economic slowdown puts peaceful rise in focus

What’s happening in China

Strong wind, thunder hit Liuzhou City in S. China's Guangxi

  1. Court awards boy escalator victim $15,000
  2. Yingkang suspends sales of vitamin C pills
  3. Fujian building tilted after earthquake
  4. Beijing denies historic building turned into club
  5. Lady sparks interest in home brands