April 15, 2022
Where has American Easter gone?
Almost all religions and cultures have some form of spring celebration. In the US there has traditionally been spring planting and equipment for Easter eggs to celebrate the onset of spring.
In my youth, Easter was all about celebrating the beginning of spring and a week off from school! It was less about religion, but much more about thinking about kindness all around.
They all helped each other in making spring gardens full of blooming flowers for this special day. Everyone’s family and friends would gather in the park or on the beach during the day to celebrate this spring.
It does not matter where someone is born and what their religious beliefs are. More important was how many beautiful Easter eggs could be found. When all the eggs were located, the winner was announced. After the big announcement, there was wonderful food to eat. It was a time of fun and a belly full of great food.
In my diverse family, Easter food was all sweets. There were jelly beans and chocolate eggs for everyone. It was spring, so no one seemed to care if the treats were healthy or not.
Food and drink were placed throughout the day. My Jewish aunt brought her delicious homemade hamantas cookies, which matched the homemade pastries of my French Catholic grandmother. The older adults were most interested in the ice cabinets of my Protestant grandmother of cold beer. She was always very popular with everyone when she arrived, and she had a lot of help in her contribution to the picnic area.
Why do so few Americans seem to enjoy spring again? It used to be that the adults would watch or play with the kids while the younger parents would start playing football or baseball. It does not matter if you were a woman or a man; The main concern was that there were enough people to play a good game of something. Not everyone would have won and it does not matter. What was important was just to be together, to enjoy a little in the first days of heat after a long winter of sitting at home.
What happened to the American Easter traditions of grace? Does anyone even help his neighbors or elderly family members plant flowers? Have you seen anyone in the park looking for Easter eggs or doing any kind of sport at a family reunion?
Did you know that only in America is there a tradition of eating honey roasted pork for Easter dinner? This is because it was cheaper than a roller. Most American families do not even gather for a larger pork meal. They spend their days playing video games, and may be watching the traditional White House Easter egg hunt. Net television seems to have only religious programs.
Can America go back to some Easter traditions?
This year, my decision was that we should start somewhere. I decided to make my contribution to bringing back the American Easter celebration.
Flowers and ornaments were bought for my front yard. My neighbors were invited to come help decorate. Can our hard work put one smile on our faces? Could this act influence others to bring back to America the Easter tradition of kindness, friendliness, and happiness? We can only do our part … so wait and see if it works!
Linda Krauss is a retired educator from Southern California and a former Navy veteran who served overseas before completing her enlistment in San Diego. She won a bronze medal for singing at the National Festival of Ancient Creative Arts.
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