Tyrone History Museum to open for 2007 season this Sunday

The Tyrone History Museum will open the 2007 season this Sunday, April 1 from 1 to 4 p.m.
Refreshments will be served at the opening.
The museum will then be open during normal hours, each Sunday and Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m.
Current displays include a Celtic cross exhibit and an Easter postcard display.
For those individuals who didn’t get the chance to check out the Celtic cross display during the Irish Heritage Week celebration earlier this month, the exhibit is still on display at the museum.
The cross collection is on display courtesy of Alice Mulhollan who graciously allowed the museum to display some of the many Celtic crosses she has collected over the years.
It is said that the Celtic cross is directly linked to St. Patrick himself. After his ordination as a priest, Patrick was sent to Ireland with a dual mission – to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish.
Although there were a small number of Christians on the island when Patrick arrived, most Irish practiced a nature-based pagan religion. The Irish culture centered around a rich tradition of oral legend and myth.
Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire.
He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish.
There will also be a new display set up for the season opening. The History of Easter Postcards will adorn the display cases. The cards on display date back to 1909 through 1940.
It is believed the tradition to send Easter postcards to relatives and friends developed at the end of the 19th century. While at first only a few cards were sent, the amount increased worldwide in the following years until eventually it was courteous to send Easter postcards.
In the beginning, both monochrome and colored cards were printed. Most of the time in the center of the cards was an oversized egg, where the greetings of the sender were written because only the address and the stamp were permitted on the back side.
In 1905 the back side of the cards were separated in two halves. The right half served as before, for the address and the stamp, and the other one was the new space for the message.
By 1910, cards were mainly monochrome pictures which were sometimes colored with children in the context with lambs, poults and eggs.
Young girls were a symbol for luck and hope. The Easter bunny which was a personified symbol of fruitfulness was often portrayed with eggs.
Following the first world war postcards moved away from photos and moved toward colorful Easter motifs, one of the most popular being Jesus in the open countryside surrounded by sheep. At this time, flowers also became a popular Easter card theme.
Throughout the second world war there was a large reduction in the amount of Easter cards sent. Following the war, numbers began to slowly rise again. However, following the introduction of email, that number has rapidly decreased over the past ten years.
So, take some time to stop by the museum and check out a variety of Easter Postcards from the early 1900s, take a look at the many Celtic crosses on display and then have some refreshments.