The kids and I blow out eggs and decorate them with Celtic and spring symbology. Then we hang them on a branch, spray painted white and put in a vase of brightly colored floral pebbles. This is our “Ostara tree”. We plan a spring menu to celebrate the spring Equinox ( we always celebrate March 21, disregarding the Christian Easter). We also begin some of our garden indoors on this day such as tomatoes and peppers. It brings the meaning of being closer to the earth to our kids. Of course, we always do an egg hunt too, usually indoors, since it is usually still chilly on March 21 where we are and the kids are still young. They go wild for this. I just wish I could come up with more ideas of things that are non-candy to out in the eggs.
Europa14 – USA
Every year so far we have followed the traditions we had in my household while growing up, which are pretty typical. Coloring eggs the night before, hunting for them the next morning or afternoon, Easter baskets, and a special dinner with family. This year I’m finally shaking the mindset that we have to do everything the day the calendar says; since we are not following Christian traditions, there is no reason to follow the Christian date. We’ve taught Thorin that we are celebrating spring, so we might as well do just that. We’ll be doing everything on the Equinox this year and avoiding as much store-bought stuff in favor of homemade as we can, which we do for holidays anyway.
When I was little my father used to hide chocolate egg(s) for me in the house, when I was close to find it he said “warmer” and when further “colder” this is a nice memory for me.
Skuld – WAU Finland
HUGE egg hunt! My Sister does this every year. She puts candy and prize vouchers inside of plastic eggs and hides them all over her yard and house. The prizes range from jelly beans, stickers, stuffed animals, videos, computer games – she really goes all out. The kids LOVE it! It’s sooo much fun. This year will be her 16th year having it!
Anne – WAU NJ
In Sweden, Easter is known to us as Påsk. It is a time rich in tradition and family.
On Easter morning the family, and good friends, gather at the kitchen table to color boiled eggs for many hours. After admiring everyone’s artwork, off to the refrigerator they go.
In Swedish folklore, Easter was thought to be the witches’ time. On Thursday, these witches were said to fly off to “Blåkulla” and return again on the Saturday before. People feared this “Witches’ Time” and tried to prevent their home and family to be killed or kidnapped by the angry witches who tend to roam the land. Grandparents would frighten the children with horrible stories of people being half-eaten by wolves or slaughtered by witches. Many of these tales are written down and can be found in libraries all over Sweden.
Nowadays, children dress up as Easter witches and go from house to house and are given candy or money – very similar to the North American Halloween.
Around noon my family sits down to a huge feast where we eat our decorated eggs and other goodies! As all the eggs are hand painted and are all different, it’s very enjoyable picking from the bowl those eggs you want to eat. In my family we have a contest to see who eats the most eggs; I remember one time I managed to stuff myself with 13 eggs, but I’ve heard stories of people eating up to 30 eggs! I also remember how excited I was to find an egg with my name on it.
After the meal – of course as we are Swedish – what would be a Swedish Easter without a “Nubbe”? (shot) While the adults are sitting around the kitchen table talking, the kids get to search the house for their Easter Egg: one huge Egg filled with Candy. Unlike the small plastic American teeny-tiny eggs they hide in the backyard in North America, these are huge and are packed with candy and fruit.
Many restaurants limit their menu during the Holiday to only Easter foods. Food like Janssons Frästelse (fish and potatoes casserole) or Smörgåsbord (Sandwich Table) – which is bread made into a huge cake, with all kinds of food stuffed into it like Olives, Meatballs, Potatoes, Eggs and alot more, and is eaten cold – a delicious meal.