Spring Holy Days and Holidays
In the spring our Jewish friends celebrate Passover (April 10-17 this year), our Christian friends celebrate Easter (April 16th this year), and many of us plan brunches and parties for these holy days. We bring family and friends together to honor our faith. And we are grateful to have the opportunity to do so. These gatherings help keep us connected to kin and kindred spirits alike. The traditions are interesting and have withstood the test of time.
Passover commemorates the freeing Israelites from slavery in Egypt, an event that took place about 1300 BCE. The traditions honored today include a very ritualized seder dinner with special foods, blessings, and prayers. The special Pesach Plate has a place for each of the many items ranging from Charoses, bitter herbs, parsley, lettuce, roasted egg, and shankbone. At the seder there is a retelling of the ten plagues and the story of Pharoh allowing the Jews to leave Egypt. Passover seders occur on the first two nights of the holy week.
In similar fashion, Christians have a holy week to commemorate several holy events ranging from Christ's last summer to his crucifixion and ending with services on Easter Sunday to commemorate his resurrection. After services, most families go home to enjoy an Easter Sunday dinner. Lamb is often served at Easter celebrations and there are several traditional activities that take place on Easter, mostly designed around the children. These include an Easter egg hunt, baskets of goodies left by an Easter bunny, and the consumption of significant amounts of chocolates and other goodies.
- Pat Markham