There are many rituals we've adopted over the years to celebrate Easter. Here are the top 5:
* Easter egg dying (no-brainer). When we were in France 2 years ago, I couldn't find white eggs, but I really loved the tones of the dyed brown eggs.
* Easter baskets. I'm a bit nervous this year because my 5 year old has decided to pray to the Easter bunny to ask for something in particular for Easter. She devised this plan to see whether there really is an Easter bunny, or whether it's the parents. I have no idea what she has prayed for, so this Easter might be her revelation day. We'll see. If she prayed for a Kinder surprise chocolate egg, I've got that covered.
* making egg cheese. This is from my Swiss Mennonite tradition. Some people call it "Easter cheese." It's mostly just a carrier for fresh maple syrup - it's a little bland all by itself. But I love it. My grandma used to make it, and she taught me how. Now I'm the family egg cheese maker. Watching the curds magically separate from the whey is mesmerizing. I look forward to making it every year.
* celebrating a seder meal. We've been having this meal on the Thursday before Good Friday as a way of remembering what Jesus was experiencing with his disciples. For us, it gives more meaning to the Easter story of death and resurrection. Our daughters look forward to it, and ask each year who we're celebrating with this year. Each year it's been different and special - a celebration of our hope and freedom, and a reminder that not all in our world are free. I love how the kids ask questions to frame the storytelling around the table, and the symbolism in the foods.
* baking paska bread. This comes from my husband's Russian Mennonite background. The recipe makes a huge batch of bread, and it's fun to make little loaves and share them around with teachers, family, friends. It's a long process with three risings of the dough. I always end up singing "We Rise Again" by the Rankin Family while I'm making paska. And the three risings remind me of 3 sad days. And the yeast makes me think that many miracles are possible, even a resurrection. The smell of the bread dough rising and that yeast doing its silent work makes me put aside my skeptical reasoning brain for yet another Easter, ready to embrace what I cannot imagine. Ready to trust in a magic that I cannot see. Hopeful that a resurrection is possible once again.
|the little loaves rising|
|mixing the dough|
|icing and sprinkles|
What are your rituals at this time of year?