Easter Information and Activities
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When is Easter?
Easter is always the first Sunday following the full moon on or after the spring equinox (the first day of spring). The earliest date is March 22 and the latest date is April 25.
Why the Easter
The hare is a symbol for the moon (Egyptian mythology). The Easter date is associated with the full moon, as stated earlier. Over many, many years, the term "rabbit" has come to be associated with Easter, and today we know this rabbit as the Easter Bunny.
Have students make fuzzy-looking Easter bunnies by using small sponges and tempera paint. Encourage them to make their hand "hop like a bunny" with the sponge, as they create their rabbit shape (two circles, a tail, and two long ears). If they do make the sponge hop up and down on the paper, the effect is light and airy, rather than heavy like a thick elephant line.
The Easter Egg
The egg is a symbol of life. At one time, Chinese parents sent a red egg to relatives or friends when a baby was born. This was like an announcement card. Many of our Easter greeting cards are shaped like an egg. Students can have fun making an egg-shaped card for Easter greetings. In the Ukraine, eggs were popular gifts to exchange at Easter, and young girls rubbed their cheeks with the red-colored eggs when they found them to give their cheeks a rosy glow after a long winter.
The Traditional Easter Parade
There are many Easter parades with people dressed up in new clothes, marching along the street to welcome the spring. In England, it was once considered bad luck to be seen on Easter Sunday wearing old clothes. Today, people wear old and new clothes for Easter, but many still buy a new Easter outfit. In the United States, there is the traditional New York City parade along Fifth Avenue, and another famous one along the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Does your city or town have an Easter parade? Why not have a classroom parade to celebrate spring?
An Easter Nest
In Germany and Switzerland (locate these countries on a map or globe), children make nests of grass in the garden in order that the Easter Bunny may fill them with eggs. Our green "grass" (or purple, yellow, or pink) that we buy for Easter baskets may have been handed down from this custom.