Sure, you have Easter traditions in your family-the annual Easter egg hunt (followed by the dreaded Deviled Eggs For the Next Six Meals), an Easter basket with enough sugar in it to suffocate the long-suffering bunny who brought it, and a big dinner after church. You don’t have to limit yourself to the same-old-same-old Easter routine, though. Here are some ways that Easter is celebrated around the world. Want to make your holiday a richer, more rewarding time of family togetherness? Try it at home!
Blessing the Easter Basket. In Poland, families bring a basket of food to church on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter) to receive a blessing of the Easter foods. This isn’t the traditional American Easter basket for children, though. The basket contains foods that symbolize Easter: bread, eggs, salt, horseradish, cheese, and a home-made cake. You can read about the meaning of each type of food at http://en.poland.gov.pl/Easter,traditions,in,Poland,Events,7072×1995.html. Make this tradition your own by gathering the foods, sharing the meaning with your family, and “blessing” the basket with a prayer or affirmation of thanksgiving for your Easter feast.
Go Fly a Kite. On Good Friday, people in Bermuda fly kites to symbolizes Christ’s ascension into heaven. Try this at home by making and decorating kites or by choosing special kites for each person to fly on Good Friday.
Water, water, everywhere? In Hungary, the day after Easter is celebrated by sprinkling or pouring water on your friends and neighbors, as water symbolizes cleansing. Cut loose and enjoy a water fight in your backyard, weather permitting-after all, you’ve just slogged through a long, hard winter inside!
Plant a garden. In the U.K., it’s considered lucky to plant parsley and potatoes on Good Friday. How does your garden grow? Easter time may be a good opportunity to work in the garden with your kids and explain where good food actually comes from (hint: it’s not necessarily the grocery store!)
Easter Egg Trees. In Germany, families hang Easter eggs on trees to commemorate the holiday. How about having each family member make an Easter egg to hang on the tree? (Try blowing eggs http://www.wikihow.com/Blow-Out-Eggs or buy ready-made plastic eggs.) Encourage your family members to paint the egg to represent something that’s special to her. Save the eggs to re-hang and enjoy talking about Easter celebrations in the past each year when you repeat this tradition.
Easter traditions around the world represent rich resources for sharing the meaning of Easter, for welcoming spring and saying goodbye to winter, and for spending quality time together. Borrow from these traditions to make this Easter the best one yet!