The Diversity of Easter Traditions: Students at Eastern share about how they celebrate Easter each year with their families.

      Originally, Easter was a celebration of the Vernal Equinox and was based on the German pagan goddess, Eostre. Her animal was a rabbit and her symbol was an egg. Eostre was seen as the goddesses of rebirth and new beginnings, so it would make sense that the arrival of Spring in full bloom would have a divine intervention in it. The pagan holiday changed with the arrival of Christian missionaries, with the celebration changing to the holiday, Easter, that we are familiar with today. From gathering colored eggs in a basket, to going to church, Eastern students take on many forms of celebrating Easter.

      For me personally, my Easter celebration would involve meeting up with my grandparents at our farm in Tewksbury N.J., where we would have a giant Easter egg hunt. Besides that, I do not do much when it comes to celebrating Easter. Honestly I am more of a Halloween and Christmas person, but there are other forms of celebrating the holiday that are unique to other people. These are their stories.     

      I interviewed Jenni Monkman, a Senior, about her Easter traditions and what they represent for her family. “I have an Easter tradition,” Monkman stated. “My family and I always go to church on Easter Sunday in the morning to celebrate the holiday.. After church, my family and I go back to my parent’s house and we eat a home-cooked meal” she added. “We spend a lot of time in each other’s company, by simply telling stories and celebrating the holiday. We also have another holiday tradition where my parents, siblings and I exchange Easter basket gifts. In these baskets, are a few small sentimental gifts and some chocolate, or Easter themed gummy candies. Ever since my nephew, Brayden, and niece, Brooklyn, were born,we also create Easter baskets filled with toys and candies that they enjoy. The biggest Easter tradition for me is just simply spending time with my family.”

Another Senior I interviewed, Will Walenda, shared with me what he and his family before the holiday. “I go to church with my family, and then go to brunch. Afterwords, we usually go back to my house or my aunt’s house to spend quality time together, share stories, and play games. After that, we usually have an Easter egg hunt for my younger cousins and family friends.” Walenda stated. I also asked Alex Lee about his Easter traditions. He said that he did not have any particular family traditions. Instead, each year his family does something different. However, changing activities may also be a tradition in itself, which is nice too! Maggie Lauer has a similar experience, where every year is different. “My favorite thing about Easter is spending time with my siblings, who I do not always see. We get to catch up and laugh together” Lauer stated.

In conclusion, many people at Eastern partake in different ways of expressing the holiday whether it’s going to an Easter egg hunt at a farm, exchanging small sentimental gifts or swapping locations every year. Easter for Eastern students is always unique and diverse, which makes it a great community to live in.

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