Spring Blogfest: Marin McGinnis

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Easter traditions – by Marin McGinnis

Easter is one of my favorite holidays. I am not a particularly religious person, so although it is one of Christianity’s most important holidays, I am fond of it for its traditions. My mother started making Easter Pigeons—sweet dinner rolls shaped like birds—when I was a teenager, and she continues to make them every year. (I tried to make them once and failed miserably—sadly, baking is one talent that I did not inherit, although the lamb roast I make every year is pretty tasty.) My father, a graphic artist, introduced me and my sister to the tradition of Ukrainian Easter Eggs when we were younger. I remember spending hours blowing the yolks out of eggs and applying hot wax and colors to the eggs in elaborate patterns, despite our distinct lack of Ukrainian heritage. And then, of course, there was the Easter basket.

As a writer of Victorian era romance, I am always interested in uncovering the origins of traditions and learning how (and whether) traditions that we love today were celebrated in the Victorian era. Easter, of course, has been celebrated for nearly two thousand years, and people have been dying Easter eggs since the 12th century and eating chocolate eggs since the 19th. Victorian children would have dyed Easter eggs much like we do today, although they would have used beets and onion skins, among other things, to dye them. According to The Virtual Victorian, the Cadbury Egg beloved of so many today is a creation of the Victorians. John Cadbury introduced his first solid chocolate egg in 1842, and the hollow egg in 1875. Instead of the fondant used now, it was filled with dragees (yes, I had to look this up—they are candies with a hard outer shell, like those tiny candy balls, Jordan almonds or, I suppose, M&Ms), marzipan, or icing. The Victorians also embraced other traditions, largely from Germany, that we practice today—Easter cards, Easter egg hunts, the Easter bunny, and Easter lilies.

Today my favorite tradition is still the chocolate. I buy my son a big chocolate bunny every year, and he slowly nibbles away at it every day as long as it lasts. As for me, my favorite is Cadbury’s mini eggs—I buy two bags and stash one in the freezer, so I can make them last longer than my kid’s bunny.

What’s your favorite Easter tradition?

MARIN StirringUptheViscount_w9340_750Seeking to escape an abusive husband, Theodora Ravensdale answers an ad in The Times for a job as cook in a country home. A fortuitous house fire enables her to fake her own death and flee to northern England and live under an assumed name. But Theodora’s refuge is not all she would wish, when she stirs emotions in the heir to the estate, Jonathan Tenwick, and in herself.

Meanwhile, as the connection between Theodora and Jonathan grows, her husband learns she did not perish in the fire, and searches for her. Fearing he is close to finding her, Theodora must flee again to protect the family and the viscount for whom she cares deeply. In the final confrontation with her husband, Theodora learns she is stronger than she ever knew, and love is worth fighting for.

About the Author: Clevelanders are tough, a bit cynical, and just a little crazy, and Marin McGinnis is no exception. She writes smart and sexy tales of Victorian-era romance.

When she’s not chasing after big dogs or watching tween-aged children skate around Ohio hockey rinks, you can find her hanging out online.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Buy the book at The Wild Rose Publishing.


  1. Rita Wray says:

    Interesting post, I enjoyed it.

  2. Enjoyed your post, Easter Pigeons, what a great idea, very unique for the dinner rolls

  3. Loved the post. It was full of interesting information. It’s funny, but although my kids are teenagers I still buy them chocolate for Easter. I think it’s because I get to steal some 🙂

    • Marin McGinnis says:

      Thanks, Marlow! Easter provides chocoholics like me with a wonderful opportunity to buy chocolate “for the children.” 😉

  4. Erica Butler says:

    Fascinating information about Mr. Cadbury, BIG fan of the eggs with fondant and the all chocolate ones.
    Thank you for another entertaining and informative read.

    • Marin McGinnis says:

      Thanks, Erica! I had no idea when I started this post that Cadbury eggs had been around for so long. It’s always fun to make a new discovery. 🙂

  5. I really enjoyed your interesting post. I had no idea Cadbury went all the way back to 1842. My daughter loves the minis. My favorite tradition was chiseling down the carrots the kids left out for the Easter bunny. They were always excited when they saw he had liked the snack. Won’t get to enjoy this again until I have grandchildren one day!


  6. I enjoyed your post, but also loved the sound of this story

  7. Great post. Never heard of Easter Pigeons. I am also not a good baker so I won’t try to make them. 🙂 My son who takes Russian language classes wants to try Ukrainian Easter eggs.

    • Marin McGinnis says:

      Ukrainian eggs are a lot of fun to make, but definitely a lot of work! Thanks for stopping by, Angelina. 🙂

  8. Great post Marin! I have some great memories of Easter traditions, mainly meeting at my Aunt Inez’s house with the ENTIRE extended family for food and Easter egg hunts and pulling someone out of the river after they’d fallen in while dressed in their Easter best (happened every year, I swear).

  9. The Ukrainian Easter eggs are so beautifully decorated, but takes a lot of work.

    • Marin McGinnis says:

      They are gorgeous. The eggs we made were never quite as elaborate as some of the ones you see, but it was fun!

  10. I’ve seen Ukrainian Easter eggs but I’ve never tried to make one. The painting is intricate and beautiful, and way beyond my skill! Happy Easter, Marin.

  11. nice traditions to share

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  12. Marin McGinnis says:

    Hello everyone! Thank you so much for participating in the Spring Blogfest and for leaving a comment on this post.

    I put everyone’s name into a hat–quite literally–and randomly selected a name. And the winner of the $10 Amazon gift card is Jana Richards!

    Congratulations, Jana! You’ll be getting an email from Amazon later today.

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