Easter - More Than Chocolate
Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 12:46pm
I remember the first time I saw an Easter Tree as a child. My family was living in Munich, Germany at the time and one day around Easter, I went to a friend’s house to play. I remember walking into her living room and seeing a miniature, delicate white tree with no leaves on it. It was frosted with glitter and sparkled brilliantly in the sunlight streaming into the room. It was beautifully decorated with tiny Faberge style eggs and pastel coloured ribbons of yellow, pink and green. There were also miniature bunnies and chicks adorning the tree and robin blue eggs to celebrate spring. It struck me as I first saw this little tree, “Wow, what is that? And how come I have never known about Easter Trees!” To a 9 year old kid, it was the equivalent of Christmas in spring time. Growing up in military family, I had the privilege of moving all over the world and learning different cultures and traditions. For me, this was one of them that I would carry with me as an adult and give to my kids.
Depending on your family and your ethnic background, you may have traditions in your family that you celebrate and don’t think twice about. And with Easter Sunday arriving soon, my kids are asking me questions about the Easter holiday: Where did the Easter Bunny come from? Is he related to Santa? Why do we colour eggs?
Traditionally, Easter is the season of new life and hope. It is a time for children to receive Easter baskets and chocolates. For Christians all over the world, it is the most important holy day of the year. It is a day to celebrate the rising of Christ and a day families dress in their best Easter attire, attend Sunday church services and have Easter dinner together. However you celebrate Easter, there are some traditions that run common, and some new ones that you can introduce to your family.
THE EASTER BUNNY
Originally, the Easter Bunny was part of pre-Christian religions (Before Christ) and celebrated the fertility goddess. The rabbit is a fertile creature and therefore is the symbol for the pagan goddess of fertility. In German folklore, the Easter Bunny was really a hare not a rabbit. The Easter Bunny legend came to the United States around the 18th century by German immigrants who populated the Pennsylvania Dutch area. Legend says the Osterhase (which means Easter Bunny) would bring only good children treats of colorued eggs, which he put in nests that children made in their caps and bonnets. Today the Easter Bunny is much like Santa Claus, bringing baskets of goodies: toys, chocolates and coloured eggs the night before Easter.
THE EASTER TREE
In Germany, before Easter day, children decorate an Easter tree with colored blown eggs, small treats like cookies and candy bunnies and chicks, and ribbon.
How to Make Your Own Easter Tree
To make your own Easter Tree you will need a tree branch, sand or stones, a jar or deep vase and decorations. To decorate the tree you will need: colored ribbon, bows, artificial flowers, candy or chocolates and hand decorated blown eggs.
1. Fill the jar with sand or stones and push the branch down into the sand/stone securing it.
2. Decorate the branches with ribbon, bows, flowers, candies,
Alternatively, you can purchase Easter trees from retailers like Pier 1 Imports, Hallmark Stores or Michaels. They are reusable every year and you can purchase unique decorations.
Blown eggs are a tradition that is not as popular as dying hard boiled eggs but has been around for a long time. It is a craft that is easy to do with kids and you can make a beautiful decoration that will last for a long time.
How to Blow Your Own Easter Eggs
Ingredients: raw eggs, a small bowl, a large bowl, a sharp pin/sewing needle and a toothpick.
1.) Remove eggs from the refrigerator and let them stand at room temperature for at least 3 hours. Please note: Eggs must be at room temperature. You cannot blow cold eggs.
2.) With pin/sewing needle, make a hole in the larger rounded end of the egg and carefully enlarge it. Now do the same with the pointed end of the egg.
3.) Poke a toothpick into the egg to break the yolk. Hold your fingers over the holes and shake the egg to break up the yolk inside.
4.) Hold the egg over a small bowl, pointed end down. Blow air into the egg through the hole in the rounded/larger end to force the contents into the bowl.
5.) Rinse the empty shell with cool water and set in the larger bowl. Repeat with as many eggs as needed.
6.) Dye your eggs with color and let them dry. Once they are dry, you may add glitter, easter stickers or decals.
To Hang Your Blown Eggs, you will need: thread, scissors and white glue (elmers/school glue).
1.) Cut a piece of thread about 3 inches long and with the thread, make a loop.
2.) Put glue on the ends of the thread and insert the ends into the hole at the rounded (larger end) of the egg.
3.) Fasten the loop to the outside of the shell with another drop of glue. Let the glue dry. Now you are ready to hang your decorated blown eggs!
FUN EASTER GAMES:
OTHER EASTER IDEAS:
KinderBuzz would like to wish you and your family a Happy Easter and a great Easter Break!
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