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Spring festivities: celebrating Passover and Easter traditions
March 31, 2018
Beginning Friday, March 30, Jewish families will celebrate Passover commemorating the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. The same weekend, Christians will celebrate Easter to honor the death and rising of Jesus. As part of the Easter tradition, the Easter Bunny has become a symbol of the holiday.
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The History of Passover
Passover is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, lasting seven to eight days This year it begins Friday, March 30, and ends Saturday, April 7.
Over three thousand years ago the Pharaoh enslaved the Jewish people. The Egyptians forced the Jewish people to work in harsh conditions and make building. An Egyptian princess found Moses and adopted him.
Moses eventually finds out he is Jewish and warns the Pharaoh that he must set the Israelites free. The Pharaoh took this news with a grain of salt and did not listen to the warning. Gods decides to punish the Egyptians with ten plagues.
Blood, frogs, gnats, flies, blight of the livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and worst of all death of the first born were the ten plagues.
In order for God to skip the Israelites he told Moses to put lamb’s blood on the doors. This is why the holiday is called Passover.
The Pharaoh decided he couldn’t take the punishments anymore and told Moses and the Israelites to leave at once. They were in such a rush that their bread didn’t have time to rise . That is why during Passover Jewish people traditionally eat Matzah.
On the evening before Passover there is a Seder, which is a Jewish ceremonial dinner that takes place the first few nights. The Seder plate consists of a lambs bone, a roasted egg, a green vegetable dip in salt water, bitter herbs made of horseradish, and charset.
There is also another cup of wine on the table for Elijah. Toward the end of the seder a door is open for Elijah to come in and drink the wine.
Haggadah is read during the Seder, some is written in Hebrew and some is written in English. The youngest child asks the four questions and the father responds.
Craig Epstein, a Jewish student stated,“Passover is one of my favorite holidays. I enjoy when my entire family gets together because I don’t get to see them as much as I would like. I also love watching the 10 Commandments because that movie is a classic.”
“My favorite thing about Passover is being able to come together as a family and keeping the tradition alive,” Mindy Epstein, a Jewish woman, said. “I also like reading from the Haggadah and singing my favorite song Dayenu.”
Photo Credit: Danielle Allen
Instead of giving chocolate, Easter Bunny gives children nightmares
Easter has many traditions that America adopted centuries ago. Including the Easter bunny who brings children chocolate. However, the Easter bunny scares some children.
The origin of the Easter bunny is still a mystery, but there are many theories of why a bunny is the symbol of Easter. The bunny is an ancient symbol of fertility and new life. Furthermore, it’s rumored that the Easter bunny came to Pennsylvania in the 1700’s by German immigrants.
Eggs also play an important role in Easter. Eggs are symbol of new life and Jesus’ resurrection. Next, the Easter Bunny is known for hiding eggs. People boil and decorate the eggs during Easter.
An English teacher from Colonia High School, Mrs. Darragh Spiewak, stated, “ I never had plastic Easter eggs as a child, I dyed the eggs on Good Friday and then the Easter bunny would hide them.” Mrs. Spiewak was a child who loved to find the hard boil Easter eggs.
Skylar Galvez, a sophomore at Colonia High School, favorite tradition is also finding hard boil eggs alongside plastic eggs.
Eggs are significant during Easter. During Lenten, season eggs could not be eaten. The effect of not eating eggs people would decorate to mark the end of fasting and penance. Lastly, they would eat the eggs on Easter.
Candy is also very popular during Easter time. Jelly beans are a very popular candy during Easter. According to history.com, over 16 billion jelly beans are made in the U.S. each year. Furthermore, the most popular non-chocolate candy during Easter is marshmallow peeps. Galvez stated her favorite Easter candy is skittles in a interview.
Even though the Easter bunny gives kids joy by bringing chocolates and hide eggs, the Easter bunny scares some children.
Is the Easter bunny scary?
In a survey conducted through social media in March of 2018, people were asked as a child if the Easter bunny or Santa Claus scared them. 43 people answered neither. 25 people answered the Easter bunny. Eight people answered Santa Claus. Lastly, five people answered both.
Galvez stated in an interview, “I imagine (the Easter bunny) like a real bunny. I used to think that the one in the mall was creepy as a kid.”
Mrs. Spiewak stated, “ I never took a picture with the bunny at the mall. I found it weird.”
To play Santa Claus, the person needs to look the part. That’s not the case for playing the Easter bunny. Anyone can be the Easter bunny, no one needs to look the part to play the role of the Easter bunny. Not knowing who is in the Easter bunny can be scary.