Easter Traditions in the US
Maybe not as commercial or popular as Christmas, Easter in one of the most important holidays in the United States. Christianity is the most widespread religion in this country, so no wonder that most Americans celebrate Easter and preserve some of the traditions associated with this holiday. Some of the Easter traditions in the US are essentially religious traditions, like attending the Easter mass, but some can be very unorthodox, like the New Your Easter Parade. Also, many of the European Easter traditions have found their place in the New World:
Egg Rolling and Decorated Eggs
Egg rolling is one of the oldest and most entertaining Easter customs. The idea behind it is quite simple: participants (especially children) must roll an Easter egg over a lawn, helping it with a wooden spoon. The one that gets first to the finish line wins. The biggest egg roll race takes place every Easter Monday in Washington DC, on the lawn in front of the White House. The incumbent president and his family are usually present, as well as other politicians and celebrities.
Eggs are an omnipresent symbol during Easter time. People also offer or make their own chocolate eggs, paint boiled eggs in different colours and hang them in what’s called an Easter Tree. Another popular game involving eggs is the egg hunt (children must find eggs that have been previously hidden within a set perimeter).
The Easter Bunny
While Santa Claus is the generous figure that is usually associated with Christmas, the Easter Bunny is the one that sneaks in during the night before Easter and brings presents and sweets for children. In addition to being the one who brings gifts and hides the eggs before the eggs hunt, the rabbit/bunny is also regarded as a symbol of renewal and fertility.
Parades and festivals
A popular event that is somehow associated with Easter is the Mardi Gras Festival, whose end marks the beginning of the Easter lent. We have dedicated several posts to this event on this blog, so I won’t add anything about it.
The second most popular manifestation that is connected to Easter is probably the NYC Easter Parade. This event is believed to have its origins in the wealthy New Yorkers, who used to show off their best garments in their way to the Easter mass. Nowadays, anyone can put on an eccentric outfit and become part of the parade – some even bring their pets. The only condition is to wear it on Easter Day along 5th Avenue, otherwise you risk attracting some less faltering comments from the passers-by.