This Family’s Easter

Easter is fast approaching!

I want to share with you some of my Easter traditions with you.

I have an interesting combination of Easter traditions that my mother brought over from Ukraine from her childhood, and traditions that we have adopted from living here in the United States.

And now I have traditions that I have created for my own family.

Easter bread and other Easter traditions

I love traditions and anything that brings a family closer together. I specifically love traditions that are passed down from generations to generations.

And I love to find out why some things are done the way they are and how they became a tradition.

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Can I give you a little history lesson?

My mother grew up in the 60’s and 70’s in a small town in the Former Soviet Union. Her family was and is of the Evangelical Christian beliefs. Majority of the town where she grew up was Eastern Orthodox.

You can do your own research on Eastern Orthodox religion and Easter. You will see many traditions that are celebrated on Easter. The Paska (Easter Bread), beautifully decorated eggs, etc are common.

3 Pasachkas, Easter Bread covered with dripping icing

The Evangelical Christians are quite different from the Orthodox religion.

They practice just what is written in the Bible and abandoned all the Easter traditions that the Orthodox church practiced.

For my mother’s family Easter meant a wonderful celebration of Christ’s resurrection from death.

This time of year also meant a new and fresh beginning.

It meant a time for extra, delicious food, a special treat, new clothes to be sewn or bought. The house is cleaned inside and out.

Baking the Paska (Easter Bread) and painting the eggs was not something that my mother’s family did. In fact, my mother didn’t do that until she arrived here in the United States with us, her kids.

For my husband’s family baking was a big deal!

Baking sweet bread the night before and all through the night was their tradition.

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Resurrection Sunday

Easter is called Voskreseniye (Воскресенье) – translated as Resurrection Day – *side note – Voskreseniye is also Sunday, the first day of the week. Literally, Sundays are a celebration of Christ’s Resurrection.

On Resurrection Day – Easter – there were always two Church services. One bright and early at 6 am! Poor little children had to get up super early and head to church!

Oh, my!

Followed by Monday two more services and Tuesday one more.

One awesome tradition that starts on Easter day and continues for 40 days is  the expression “Christ is Risen!” and you answer back “He is risen indeed!” That phrase is repeated three times.

Here in the United States we have embraced coloring and decorating eggs and Easter egg hunts.

We love to bake but not through the night! Any time before and around Easter is a great time for some Paska – Easter Bread.

Little boy running with basket of Easter eggs

Two boys collecting Easter eggs into a basket

The reality of Easter and Autism

Oh the world of Autism. Where things are unpredictable and a day can go either way.

I love celebrations. And that includes a fabulous Easter lunch and an egg hunt.

The reality is that C will participate very little.

He will rush through egg decorating to please me but also to just get through it. He will try the Paska bread but will leave it mostly uneaten. He will say hi to his cousins that will come over for lunch and the egg hunt but will spend the majority of the time hiding in a room or away from the noise and the crowd with a phone in his hands.

This is my reality. This is my family’s reality.

This may be your family’s reality.

I want to say, mom, don’t be upset and don’t be discouraged.

Celebrate and practice the traditions that you can. Embrace the time that you have with your children. Spending time with them is the best tradition of all.

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. – Matthew 28:6

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