“Easter Celebration”

Jennifer Smith is a third generation English- American who was born and raised in the valley area surrounding the city of Los Angeles. Her mother is from Miami, Florida and her father is from Los Angeles, California. She spent three years at Bennington College in Vermont.

Jennifer says that, for the most part, her family has always celebrated Easter in the same fashion since she can remember. Her mother’s parents celebrated Easter in the same way and the tradition has passed down now to Jennifer through her mother.

On the night before Easter, everyone decorates hardboiled eggs by using specially prepared colored-dyes. The eggs are then hid in secret places by the parents, during the middle of the night while the child is asleep. In the morning, the children wake up as early as possible in order to start the festivities. The children hunt for the eggs that the parents have hidden. For every egg that a child finds, he/she is given a present in exchange by the parents. For example, Jennifer says that this year she found six eggs and therefore received six presents. The presents can range in size and quality. Jennifer says that usually the majority of the presents are relatively small, such as a basket of jelly- beans. After the children give up on finding all the gifts, it is now time for the parents to retrieve the eggs that were not found. It is important that the parents keep a list of where exactly they hid each egg, because a hardboiled egg is not something one wants to keep in his house for an extended period of time, as it progressively rots. After the parents find the remaining eggs, the family bakes a cake in the shape of a bunny. After the cake is baked, the family then invites relatives to come over and enjoy a home-cooked Easter dinner. Easter dinner usually consists of lamb, ham, and steak. The side dishes for the dinner include mashed potatoes, asparagus, fruit salad, and homemade bread. After the dinner, the children will play various games with the eggs such as an egg on spoon race.

According to Jennifer, the Easter tradition in her family is not a matter of remembering an important religious occasion, but rather it is a time wherein the family reunites and presents one another with gifts in order to express appreciation. I think that this is an interesting celebration, as it is seen to show no religious connotation yet it is held on the day in which many people celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. It is interesting how this celebration focuses around the secular aspects of the Easter holiday in the United States.