Easter is without a doubt one of the most important holidays in the christian calendar. But not everyone is in that group right? So how do you celebrate easter respectfully if you don’t celebrate easter. It’s a shame to let it go unnoticed as it’s one of only 6 paid days off or includes 2 of 9 designated closed days and might be your only extra long weekend of the year. It might also be important to you to be respectful of the holiday even if it doesn’t have meaning for you, like so many suggest at Christmas although I think the horse is out of the barn on that one. So here are some of my ideas and our traditions that make easter special for our family. So if I’ve used an image here that’s not mine I’ve linked to the helpful original content in the caption.
What you should know about easter if your not religious (trust me you’ll learn something)
I’m not going to talk about christian doctrine here, frankly I’m not qualified to. But there are a few things you should know even if you are of a certain christian faith about what others might be doing. I was raised pretty strictly Anglican if that can be a thing. It tends to be a listen quietly, keep it to yourself and very moderate religion. For reference it’s basically the A, S and P when you call someone a WASP. But my mom was a polish catholic convert which for reference is like and the Irish type of catholic just with vodka, which is to say they take it seriously. These two examples might not be the far extremes but they are on the edges. Anglicans (protestants) celebrate the holy days leading up to easter with potluck dinners, purple alter linens and teas for the most part. They are not like to give up anything for lent or go to church on good Friday but attendance on easter Sunday is a must. They might have a family supper but that’s about it not too many have toos on that list.
Where as a polish catholic is likely to give up something substantial for lent and attend extra Friday and or Wednesday services for the duration. Meat on the big weekend, Fridays, and possibly the Wednesdays in lent is likely off limits too. You would be reminded often that Jesus died for you sins and so Sunday would be a very joyous occasion. Good Friday, easter Saturday would truly be a time of deep mourning for you. Sunday would be the end of your lent abstentions, a feast and incredibly important. Easter is considered the most holy and good Friday the most sad days on the calendar for many Christians. Weirdly though easter Monday is full of pranks in polish culture like April fool’s day. It’s traditional to wake each other up by dumping cold water on each other, go figure.
Being raised with a little of column a and some of b, with presents and an egg hunt for good measure, I know it’s not a holiday free for all like Canada Day (our independence day). So how then do you remain sensitive but also make the most of your long easter break if you like me are not religious?
General Respect Guidelines
It’s totally up to you what you do and what you believe if you decide this Easter is the right time to host a late 90’s style rave than you do you. But it is arguably the most important occasion of the year for christians. Since Friday and Saturday are days of deep mourning for many Christians it’s best practice not to broadcast any over the top celebrations you might be having at least until Sunday or Monday. Some might argue that these days are days of rest but I’m not sure many would abide by this anymore. But it’s also a time for family and even though there is a lot of common culture takeover of easter it’s not totally commercialized yet. I guess think twice about hosting a raging house party on Friday or Saturday night on easter weekend.
Ideas for Families
Easter weekend is a LONG weekend where not a whole lot is opened and it can seem to stretch on forever if you have kids of a certain age. It’s a good plan to have some activities that take a long tine to eat up some of that time. Here are some ideas.
- Egg decorating party
- Ukrainian egg decorating (takes longer and involves fire, stay tuned for an in depth how to post)
- Family walks
- Spring Cleaning and donating old toys and clothes
- Host an extended family supper
- Post stuff you want to get rid of online for sale
- Book and plan a summer vacation now
- Take a road trip to visit family
- Beach glass hunt
- Colour coded family easter egg hunt with everyone’s favourites in their own colour
- Back yard egg scramble, toss from the deck
- Netflix binge and family sleepover with all your favourite foods build a giant blanket bed on the floor
- Make pom pom animals with yarn
- Make your own chocolates kits at craft stores or recipes online for truffles
- Service you bikes and get a jump on spring fun
- Tie dye some shirts, pj’s or bed sheets
- Start transplants for the veggie garden
- Recruit other families to host sleep overs on the two other days, you host one and you get two date nights!
Easter Ideas for Grown-ups
Probably best to keep it quieter but you can still have lots of fun
- Re-paint something, you have 4 days
- Go for a long weekend in the woods you might even be able to negotiate a special rate
- Drag your mattress to the living room, make the bed, lock the door. binge watch and cuddle
- Re-decorate a room that’s been bugging you
- Make a summer plan together what do you want to do to the house, go see or accomplish. Make a schedule and decide how to save for it now
- Make a Saturday list to end all Saturday lists, you have a day to rest and a day to recover and then a day off on Monday!
- Invite friends over for a board games or a murder mystery party with costumes
- With some luck and planning an early spring bon fire can be awesome
- Get a head start and get your property spring ready
- Start transplants for the veggie garden
- Tackle a home improvement project but not one that requires lots of trips to the store, so no plumbing
- Boring but get caught up and ahead at work
- Recommit to your new year’s resolutions there’s still 9 months left in the year
- Do one thing for each other, walk with your lady, play poker with your man or whatever
- Plan and take all kinds of me time and engage in lots of self care. Make your perfect weekend happen!
It seems a shame to let easter go by and not to have plans for such a long weekend. I’ll obviously be running too with half marathon training, like every weekend for the next two months at least. What are your plans?