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Customs and Traditions for celebrating Easter
April 13, 2006
2:25 pm
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eve
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Hi,

I'm interested how other parts of the world celebrate easter.

In Germany the thursday before Good Friday is called Green Thursday, most families will have something green to eat. In my family we usually make a salad out of seven different kinds of fresh herbs from the garden. Since it is early in the year, this is not so easy, but a lot of weeds can be recruited. So today I had a salad out of cress, dandelion leaves, daisies, chives and other things that I can't translate. 🙂

Good Friday is a public holiday. last chance for decorating the house with twigs of forsythia and catkin, and hang them with coloured eggs, easter bunnies and little chickens.

Saturday is a quite normal day.

Sunday starts for most families with church. Traditionally there will be no light at home and no fire in the oven, and people bring a candle home from church. Before breakfast the kids will be looking for the nest that the easter rabbit hid for them, it will contain a chocolate easter bunny, sweets, coloured eggs, and maybe a present. If we are there, my dad still hides easter nests for us "kids" and the sons in law, also for the grandchildren. I'm his youngest, and I'm 40 now, so he is a bit set in his ways, but we all love the search - but when the weather is fine and we do it in the garden (much better hiding places there), you have to be really quick, otherwise the mice might be quicker and leave only a coloured bit of paper 🙂

In the afternoon, families tend to go for a walk, and the kids will be looking for eggs that the easter rabbit dropped somewhere along the way.

Monday is another bank holiday, good day for parties with friends or family.

April 13, 2006
2:31 pm
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sewunique
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What does eggs and bunnies and peep chicks and easter egg hunts have to do with Easter?

April 13, 2006
2:34 pm
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sewunique
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What does the symbolism of eggs for Passover mean?

Why are eggs the symbol of these two opposite religious sects the same or have to do with the other?

Eggs? Easter? Passover?

April 13, 2006
2:49 pm
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eve
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sew, your questions sound a teeny bit aggresive and disapproving to me? Do you think that these are heathen customs that a good Christian should have nothing to do with, or did I get this wrong. Since I'm Christian, but very very far from being dogmatic, I don't care anyway :). I would propably also celebrate a heathen spring festival, and joyfully. It's just that in our society the chritian tradition brings this spring festival together with the biblical easter celebration.

eggs, chickens and bunnies have to do with spring and are propably symbols of a spring feast of fertility and renewal of life, long before Christianity came to Europe.

April 13, 2006
2:52 pm
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eve
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I think that the kid's pleasures on easter are also to celebrate renewal of life, children are a symbol for new life.

April 13, 2006
4:42 pm
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mj
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Hi Eve!

When I was a child, we would wake up on Easter and find our Easter Basket filled with goodies! Once we went on an Easter Egg hunt too.

My mother always made my sister & I Easter dresses for church.

When my children were growing up I tried to make Easter fun for them. We always decorated eggs. Each year we would explore new colors and methods for decorating. It was fun to hide the eggs around the house for them to find. When they got older I hide plastic ones with money. They always had an Easter basket that was theirs. I would decorate the house.

Last year, my granddaughter and I got to decorate eggs and their house. We had lots of fun. The Easter Bunny gave me a basket as well.

This year I am surprising my hubby with an Easter Basket. It will be a first.

Thanks for starting this thread!

April 13, 2006
9:04 pm
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kc30
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Eve

I live in Canada, and I am Catholic:

Today-Holy Thursday, is a normal day except that in church, Mass is only celebrated at night, and it's the Mass of the Lord's Supper- the priest at my church plays the role of Christ in the readings, and washes the feet of parishoners (not all of them of course)

Tomorrow, Good Friday, is a Stat holiday. It's a fast day (no meat)- there is no Mass- just solemn service which is very long- holy water is drained from the fonts- light is out in the tabernacle symbolizing Christ's absence from the church.

Saturday is a "normal" day- Easter vigil is held at night...this is very very very long- adults are baptized this night. It starts in the church in darkness, then the fires are lit...I wonder if that ties into your tradition of no fires on Saturday night? I know the light is all symbolic of His death and resurrection.

I know that no weddings, baptisms or funerals are permitted to be held over these next three days.

Sunday is Mass, of course, celebrating the resurrection. We also do chocolate eggs, Easter bunny, egg hunt etc for the kids.

Easter Monday is also a government holiday here (we take our Easter season seriously!) Easter season continues in the Church for another 40 days (I think?)...up to the ascension.

Happy Easter to you! What a fun thread- nice to hear about other parts of the world

kc

April 13, 2006
10:38 pm
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salemgirl
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eve,

your forsythia is still in bloom? alas , my blooms have faded.

April 14, 2006
1:38 am
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sewunique
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Eve

It was not meant to sound or appear aggressive. These are things in which I have been pondering of late. The similiarities in so many religions, and just these are two opposing religious views and then skewed with commercialism.

Just pondering thoughts. Actually, I love Easter and had a yearly Easter Egg Hunt for my grandchildren; either outdoors or indoors, depending on that year's weather! And I served a family traditional brunch each year with the silver and etc decorated to the max.

No, it was just some rambling thoughts. Am I in Libs or Support here? *smiling*

Sew

April 14, 2006
11:16 am
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eve
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🙂 sew, glad you clarified.

Today I won the "Eierpecken" contest. This is normally also a custom of Easter Sunday, but we did it at work today, because the others have the weekend off.

This is how this game goes:
Everybody takes a hardboiled, coloured egg, and then you knock the eggs together. If your egg is cracked, you're out of the game (but you have an egg that you can eat). If your egg stays whole, you go on and try your luck with the next person or her/his egg, and so on.

Oh, and there is another tradition for Palm Sunday in catholic families. Whoever gets up latest on Palm Sunday mornig is the Palm donkey (and has to do the dishes from breakfast).

Happy holiday weekend to all!

April 14, 2006
12:32 pm
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lollipop3
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The Easter tradition in my family is a bit different...or was at least.

My father would hide egss around the house for the annual Easter Egg hunt. It tended to be a bit brutal as the youngest of us is 25. The year that my oldest sister had long fingernails was particularly painful.

After the hunt, we would dress up in our Sunday finest and go out for Easter brunch. After brunch we would all go to the local bar where my sister was the manager and would commence the annual Easter drunk.

If my mother were still alive...she never would have approved.

However, since I quit drinking and seemed to have ruined the fun for the rest of the family...we now just get dressed up and to out for brunch.

Not exactly what most people do...but it sure was fun while it lasted!

Lolli

April 15, 2006
6:24 pm
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readyforachange
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eggs, bunnies, chicks, lambs...all symbols of the "new life" that Spring brings. I believe the church uses some of these symbols to parallel Jesus' rising from the dead, and the new life that his suffering and death created for us.

My grandmother had many Greek traditions, and we still use some of them at Easter. She would dye eggs a deep, beautiful shade of red, and polish them with oil. We would play a game in which two players would hit the ends of eggs held in their hands together. One always breaks, the other stays intact. The egg that did not break was the "winner". The game continues until only one person has an unbroken egg. She always said that that person was the strongest in the family.

Blessings to all of you...

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