Snack Size History
Easter is a Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, as discussed in the New Testament. The holiday is known as a moveable feast because it occurs on a different day every year, based on lunar cycles, instead of following the Julian or Gregorian calendars. Traditionally, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon falling on or immediately after the vernal equinox of March 21, usually between March 22 and April 25.
While most participants celebrate Easter as a single day, it’s just one piece of an elaborate season celebrating penance, introspection, and resurrection. The entire Easter season lasts 90 days! It starts with Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, which is the last day of celebration, fun, and food before Lent’s period of fasting and reflection. Ash Wednesday starts the 40-day Lent season, which leads into the Holy Week before Easter.
The Holy week celebrates an Easter Triduum of observance days, from Maundy Thursday, celebrating Jesus’ last meal, Good Friday, which remembers the crucifixion, and Holy Saturday, the observance period before Easter Sunday, celebrating the Resurrection. Eastertide begins after Easter Sunday and lasts 50 days before the entire season closes on Pentecost Sunday.
The egg traditionally symbolizes fertility and birth. It is believed that German immigrants carried with them myths about a rabbit that laid colored eggs, and our Easter egg hunts and Easter baskets stem from this folklore. Modern traditions vary but typically include attending sunrise or church services, Easter egg hunts, eating springtime fares such as ham or lamb, Peeps and jellybeans, and the Easter bunny.
Easter and Passover share symbolism, a time frame, and in many languages, the words for each holiday are very similar! It’s believed that the name for Easter derives from an Anglo-Saxon goddess of fertility and springtime. It is the second largest holiday for candy sales after Halloween and 16 million jellybeans are consumed during this period!
What are your family’s favorite Easter traditions?
My Easter Menu
This year, I’m only feeding 8 people, so my menu isn’t particularly extensive or complex. I’m also not a fan of ham and didn’t want to special order lamb from the butcher, so I chose a herb stuffed pork roast for this Sunday’s meal. We’re starting with a creamy cauliflower soup, rounding out the entrée with traditional holiday sides, and finishing with some fresh, festive desserts.
Our starter is Roasted Cauliflower Soup. I’ll roast the cauliflower with fresh cloves of garlic and onions, before pureeing the vegetables with chicken stock and finishing with a handful of white cheddar cheese. For garnishes, I’ll finely slice green onions, dice some crisped bacon, and sprinkle the top with some shredded cheese.
For our entrée, I’m going to make a Pork Loin with Herb Stuffing. I’ve never tried a stuffed loin before, so this will be a new experience for me, but I love pork roasts and the fresh herb stuffing will fall in line with seasonal tastes. Alongside the loin, we’ll enjoy scratch-made Scalloped Potatoes, traditional Green Bean Casserole, and baby carrots with bacon, butter and a touch of brown sugar.
For dessert, I prefer light, refreshing treats. This year I’ll make a Strawberry Pretzel Icebox Pie and the Butterscotch Baskets from last week’s blog. Considering we’ll be drowning in candy after the egg hunt and baskets are opened, I thought it would be wise to stick with something light.
What are your family’s favorite menu items for Easter? Do you celebrate with brunch, seafood such as salmon, or do you stick with the traditional glazed ham?
Easter Egg Hunt Hacks
- Fill the eggs with more than just candy! You could also include small toys, matchbox cars, jewelry or nail polish, or coupons for special privileges,
- Avoid your weebles fighting over eggs by color-coding! Give each child a different colored basket, and send them off to look for the eggs that match their basket!
- Hunt at night! Fill the eggs with treats and small glowsticks, and give your kiddos glow in the dark bracelets and necklaces to wear while they hunt. Cap off the hunt with s’mores by a campfire!
- Make a “scavenger hunt!” Mix and match egg tops and bottoms by color, and create flashcards with each of the color combinations. Give a stack to each kid, and send them off to find the eggs in their cards!
- Have a lunch hunt! Color-code the eggs to each kid and fill them with grapes, gummies, goldfish, cheese cubes, baby carrots, and tiny sandwich squares! Set the kids loose to find their lunch, spread a blanket out, and have a picnic.
- If your kiddos like puzzles, encourage them to work together by hiding the puzzle squares throughout the eggs and letting them win a prize when they assemble the whole thing!
- Check out community hunts in your hometown! Many churches, businesses, and city centers offer hunts that bring families and kiddos together for an afternoon of fun.
I wish you a pleasant, relaxed holiday! Let me know how it goes.