What are your fondest Easter memories from your childhood? Does your family have generations’ worth of special traditions, or are you working to create new ones with your family as you get older and perhaps have moved away from loved ones? While taking your kids to visit the Easter bunny, participating in an egg hunt, and awakening to a basket filled with goodies on Sunday morning may all still be staples of the holiday, here are a few new Easter traditions to incorporate into your family this year.
Break out the water toys. You may already give your children outdoor-themed toys on Easter morning to usher in the arrival of spring, but if the weather permits it, have an all-out water play day! Here’s why: In Poland, people drench each other with water on Easter Monday in a tradition known as Smingus-Dyngus. They might use buckets of water, squirt guns and everything else they can get their hands on, but you can set up a slip n’ slide and a water balloon station in your backyard! Legend has it that females who get soaked will marry within the year.
Create a mosaic on Holy Saturday. If you’re religious, you know that Holy Saturday is a period of waiting and often, other than food preparation, there isn’t much to do. It’s the perfect time for arts and crafts! On the Greek Island of Corfu, traditional “pot throwing” takes place on this day. People literally throw earthenware into the streets! The origins are murky. Some say the custom comes from the Venetians, used to throw out all old items to usher in the New Year. Others say throwing pots welcomes spring and symbolizes new growth in new pots. While you might not want to break pottery with your kids, you can purchase ready-to-assemble kits from a craft store. Make a stepping stone for the garden to stick with the spring time theme!
Make omelets. Why not put eggs to use in a way other than hard-boiling them this year? In Southern France, a giant omelet is served up for the townspeople in the city center. Allegedly, Napoleon and his army were traveling through the region, when they were introduced to omelets. Napoleon is said to have liked it so much that he ordered a giant omelet to be made for his army the next day. This is a really easy dish for kids to help make, and they’ll love being able to choose their own toppings to go inside.
Host your very own Easter Egg Roll! It’s interesting that the White House has hosted this event on Easter Monday for the past 130 years, yet I don’t know of a single, American family who participates in this tradition! But why shouldn’t we? It involves rolling a colored, hard-boiled egg with a long-handled serving spoon, toward a finish line. So break out the utensils and have the kids roll eggs (real or plastic) out in the back yard! Whether they win a prize or not, they’ll be entertained (and you’ll probably be entertained by watching).