Today, however, we seem to celebrate it in more of a spirit of tradition rather than remembering the origin of the holiday. With good reason, it is doubtful that running around hunting for Easter eggs, or hoping that the Easter bunny is going to visit our house, is an ancient tradition that originates in any religious books. But it is what it has become, a family holiday with the focus on the younger family members, on good food (and wine) and on candy.
In 1878, President Rutherford B. Hayes started the well-known White House Easter Egg Roll. In pairs, children push the eggs with a long spoon. This year’s roll, which will take place on April 1, will be the 135th roll.
In Scandinavian and other European countries, children wait for the Easter bunny to deliver one large Easter egg filled with candy. Some families also arrange Easter egg hunts with a twist; the children have to look for something called Kinder Eggs, which are German made chocolate eggs with a “surprise” in them, a small Lego-looking toy.
In England, families serve roasted ham for an early dinner on Easter Sunday. On that very same day, Greek families do it a little bit differently. They host large family parties outside in remembrance of Jesus’ resurrection.
Many countries serve ham or lamb for Easter, but in some places in Mexico, sea turtle meat is a tradition; although, hunting for sea turtles has been illegal for over a decade.
Former LIU Post student Anna Kurkina from Russia explained that they celebrate Easter differently in Russia. “Religious people go to church. The priest pours some [holy] water and sprinkles it over baskets that contain special bread called ‘pasha,’ wine, and some other food. It makes the food holy and we eat it in the morning.” They also do Easter eggs. “We have egg-fights. We paint the eggs in various colors and we try to break them. The one egg that doesn’t crack is a winner.”
Italian-American, liberal arts sophomore, Joseph Vertuccio, said, “Growing up, my parents would put Easter eggs all around the house with nickels and quarters and chocolate [inside]. We would also get big Easter baskets and depending on the year, we got more candy, video games, movies and stuffed animals.” He added that on Easter morning, his family goes out to eat a large dinner in the city.
No matter what your Easter traditions are, it is important to remember this holiday is a good time to spend with your family. With busy schedules and days, it’s often easy to forget to show the ones at home the appreciation they deserve.