Today, most of the Christian world is in preparation for the High Feast of the Liturgical Year. Fortunately, I bought most of my Easter foods yesterday.
In generations past, Christians viewed Lent as a season of "the great fast," which is to some extent still observed by Eastern Orthodox Christians. During the season of penitence, they would give up not only meat, but dairy products, which by tradition would include eggs. When the great vigil of the Pasch arrived, they would fill their baskets (some as large as two feet in diameter) with whatever was given up for Lent.
In a past life, I was married to a Byzantine Catholic. I still have a soft spot in my heart for that tradition, which I continued for my own sake as much as my son's. Tonight we will attend Matins and Divine Liturgy of the Resurrection, followed by the blessing of baskets. Mine will be filled with bologna, kielbasa, cheeses, breads, horseradish (reminiscent of the passover seder), salt, butter, colored eggs, and distilled spirits (including a decent bottle of chianti).
And, while I'm at it, I have to do my laundry...