Easter: Celebration of Faith, Family and Traditions

TR Staff
Staff Writer

By Chelsey Olauson
Each season seems to be greeted with a holiday: Summer has the Fourth of July, fall has Thanksgiving, and winter has Christmas. Spring hardly needs a holiday to be worth celebrating- the gradual warming from winter’s chill and the arrival of shorts weather is just about a holiday in itself.
However, as the prairie is renewing its greenness, the world of Christianity revisits a concept of rebirth with the holiday of Easter. The Christian religion views Easter as the conclusion of Passover. Passover is the Jewish celebration tied to the Israelites’ escape from Egyptian rule.
Easter is a celebration as well: That of rebirth, after Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried. When he rolled the stone aside and emerged from the tomb, members of the Christian faith celebrate his rebirth. Prior to Easter, there is a period of fasting called Lent that lasts for forty days beginning on Ash Wednesday.
Bringing in the holiday one nose wiggle and hop at a time, the Easter Bunny carries a basket of goodies to good children on Easter Sunday. The German immigrants to America brought with them not only sauerkraut, Schwann cells, and stories of fairy tale characters, but also the Easter Bunny and subsequent Easter Egg Hunts.
The goodies that the Easter Bunny brings include the traditional yellow, marshmallow-y, bird-shaped candy that my rancher likes, but also representations of the Easter Bunny and Easter Eggs in chocolate.
Interestingly enough, desserts found on the Easter table vary from country to country. The Polish may have chalka, which is a raisin-filled egg bread, whereas Italians may have pastiera napolitana, a Neapolitan grain pie. Americans have a broad variety of cakes and pies to celebrate the holiday, like my mother’s apple pie from her home-canned apple pie filling, or the white bunny-shaped cakes with shaved coconut fur that bakeries make by the dozens for this holiday.
Just like icing on a cake, nothing quite makes a holiday as do the foods, and the foods gracing your Eastertide table may reflect your roots. Easter’s roots as we know them in America, with Easter Egg hunts and the Easter Bunny, are German, just like a majority of the settlers in the Midwest. Whatever your backgrounds, or traditions, have a happy Easter, and enjoy America’s rich heritage while feasting with family and friends.