As a native of San Antonio, I remember the multi-cultural festivities of Easter that occurred each year. One of the oldest churches in town was the San Fernando Cathedral. Each Easter, they offered an outdoor Passion play that was similar to those that were presented in Europe. Hundreds of characters, dressed in Biblical attire, reenacted the last week of Jesus’ life leading up to Resurrection Sunday.
One popular Mexican tradition at Easter was making cascarones. The art of making cascarones dates back to China in the 13th Century. Explorer Marco Polo observed this unique Chinese craft and brought it to Europe where it became quite trendy.
Cascarones are eggs that are filled with confetti. First, you puncture a small hole in the bottom of the egg and drain the contents for use in cooking desserts. Then you rinse the inside and outside of the egg and let dry. Once it is dry, the outside is painted various colors and the inside is filled with multi-colored confetti. But the messy fun begins when you crack the egg over the head of a friend!
Immigrants from Ukraine introduced the use of Pysanky Easter eggs. Their eggs are prepared in a manner somewhat similar to the Mexican Easter egg, but the outside is decorated with traditional Ukrainian folk designs. The word pysanska means “to write” or “to inscribe.” So, these designs are not painted on the egg but were written (inscribed) with beeswax. Even today, these Wendish-style eggs remain popular in Central Texas near Serbin.
My Dad was a pastor, so our family schedule at Easter revolved around church activities. Some churches hosted choral productions of the Handel’s Messiah, egg hunts, Palm Sunday parades, Good Friday communion services, and Easter Sunrise services. It was a wonderful time to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus from the grave.
At home, Mom and Dad taught us to dye eggs to celebrate the season. Some people dye eggs with the various colors representing certain aspects of Christianity. One minister used to say that red was for the blood of Jesus, and yellow signified the Resurrection. He said that the egg itself epitomized the fragility of life, and the hard shell represented the tomb. Cracking the egg symbolized releasing Christ from the tomb.
You may not choose to use these methods to explain Easter to your family. But it is important to find a way that is comfortable for you to teach the children and to remind the adults of the death, burial, and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us NEW BIRTH into a living hope through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:2 NIV)