What are your family traditions for Passover or Easter?

I am always fascinated with how families celebrate holidays and what traditions they have created.

Do they attend Holy Week services? Do they go to Passover services? Do they go to egg hunts? Do they cook up a storm? Do they create elaborate Easter baskets and buy fancy Easter outfits? Do they just enjoy the spring weather with their families?

One of our neighbors is Jewish and I am dying to know all about her Passover traditions but I don’t want to be nosy asking. I know she loves to cook so I would love to know what she’s up to for Passover.

When we were little we would wake up and hunt for dyed boiled eggs around the house. We would then open all the items in our baskets and then get ready for church. We would go to church on Easter morning in our fancy little Easter outfits and then come home for ham lunch with my grandparents.

(Let’s review that my mother would hide those real dyed hard boiled eggs overnight and then we would eat on them for days. It’s a miracle we didn’t have food poisoning.)

As we got older we would go to the Saturday night Mass where converting Catholics would take Communion and join the church. It was always a long Mass but a meaningful one.

In the past few years, we would attend egg hunts with our kids at church and go to several services during the week. And of course Easter day was spent at church and  with family.

Living in a new town with no relatives, we have a fairly clean slate for holidays this year. We haven’t quite figured out what our traditions for the holidays will be here. It’s very different not having any family in town. Also it’s weird with no azaleas or dogwoods blooming. (The local grocery store has cut daffodils. You definitely won’t see them in lawns here.)

We don’t feel as connected to our church and haven’t attended as many special services as we would have in Atlanta. We’re still trying to figure out what our family holiday traditions will be here.

Tell me about your traditions. If you are Jewsish please tell me how Passover week runs. What services are offered at the temple and what days are you serving food and celebrating. I want to know more about Passover traditions. If you’re an Easter family, tell us which egg hunts you like and what you do about Easter morning services? Also tell us how elaborate your baskets are?

– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, ajc.com Momania. I have increased my Twitter activity. I am sending out great stories for moms each day focusing on health, fitness, sex, entertainment, food, travel and obviously parenting! So follow me on Twitter at @AJCMOMania!)

89 comments Add your comment

Enemas for Good Friday

April 22nd, 2011
10:49 am

I love the peaceful forgiving Christians…..If I could ever find one.

Trying to remember when I said Jesus was a myth? I think you are just looking for a fight.


April 22nd, 2011
10:49 am

The thing is, the only thing that will bring a person to God is God Himself. There’s nothing that another person can do to facilitate that, all on their own. Thinking that attacking opposing viewpoints contributes to God’s plan is anti-Christian. That churches almost universally do so is another reason I’m not churchy.


April 22nd, 2011
10:59 am

For the life of me I do not understand why those that aren’t Christian have the need to come on an insult those of us that are. The question was what are your Easter/Passover traditions. It wasn’t whether or not you believe Jesus existed. It wasn’t whether or not you believe in the holiday. I am sure there are blogs for people that have similar beliefs as yourselves. Perhaps that is where you should post your opinion. It would be so much more relevant. I have never attacked anyone for not being Christian. Why must you give us your opinion? Every year you come on here @JJ and insult Christians. We get it, you don’t believe in God. We get it.


April 22nd, 2011
11:09 am

RJ I never insulted anyone, if you took it as an insult that is you, not me. To each his own right?.

And 9 out of 10 times, we go off topic on this blog..

I am entitled to my opinion.

Enemas for Good Friday

April 22nd, 2011
11:10 am

Ditto…..When did I insult anyone. On the contrary, I’ve insulted numerous times.


April 22nd, 2011
11:25 am


Funny, I know JJ posts here plenty. You, I don’t seem to remember at all.
JJ did not insult anyone. She just let her own beliefs be known. You are the one that took offense to that belief.

Cobb Woman of Color

April 22nd, 2011
11:58 am

My mother is Christian. My father is Jewish. With my children, I combine traditions.

Tad Jackson

April 22nd, 2011
12:42 pm

Eat an enormous amount of fried chicken, while the grease runs down our arms, and laugh at each other’s goofy stories of our recent doings.



April 22nd, 2011
1:30 pm

@Shaggy, it matters not that you don’t remember me. I’ve been posting on this blog for years. Every year JJ feels the need to let us know how she isn’t a Christian. I have absolutely no problem with that. But to repeatedly tell us what she “thinks” about Christian belief can be offensive and is inappropriate. Just as she and you have a right to voice your OPINIONS, so do I. As my husband always says, “An opinion is like an…” well you know the rest:)!

With that I’m out! Peace and blessings to all! Happy Resurrection Day!


April 22nd, 2011
1:37 pm


April 22nd, 2011
1:43 pm

@RJ – Have a nice weekend. Celebrate and enjoy. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Enemas for Good Friday

April 22nd, 2011
3:05 pm

Passover? I thought it was Passout….What am I going to do with all this liquor?

Enemas for Good Friday

April 22nd, 2011
3:45 pm

RJ, if you are a true Christian, you will be forgiving of JJ’s rhetoric.


April 22nd, 2011
4:19 pm

we go to church, if i don’t have to work. i’m a nurse, so every couple of years i have to work. this year i do, but i’ll be done around 11. i will probably go to the vigil mass tomorrow night. i’ll cook a nice dinner, but that will be it. i never did the easter bunny with my kids. they got new clothes and some candy when they were little. we would get them dressed up and take pictures. now i just buy some jelly beans and peeps and that’s it.


April 22nd, 2011
4:59 pm

Whatever you do for this weekend, I hope that everyone has a good one and a safe one..”Talk” to y’all on Monday..

Enemas for Good Friday

April 22nd, 2011
5:06 pm

I’m going to torture my liver.


April 22nd, 2011
5:09 pm

RJ, as I recall, you shared a bit about your beliefs recently and how it influenced the way you raise your children. Were you doing that to offend non-Christians? If non-Christians are offended, should you be expected not to mention your beliefs? If not, then what’s wrong with JJ stating her beliefs?


April 22nd, 2011
5:37 pm

Post still hasn’t shown up but here it is again:

Yesterday I heard on the radio of a school (not sure where) that in order to be politically correct and not to refer to the holiday, instead of saying Easter eggs, they were calling them Spring Spheres. WTF? Come on man! Even non-Christians have to say that is ridiculous, right? If for no other reason than the fact eggs are not spheres.


April 22nd, 2011
5:46 pm

Growing up, the bunny would bring eggs and candy and hide them in little nests around the corners of the interior of the house. We would also dye eggs and he would hide them also. The bunny did the same thing when my children were little.

I also dyed hundreds of eggs with my kids at school until a few years ago, when it became “fluff.”

My younger daughter still loves hunting eggs.

Now I get to watch my granddaughter hunt. My grandsons are too small yet.

When my son was about 8, he asked me, “There is no such thing as Santa Claus, is there?” and I replied, “No, not as you have been thinking of him.” He thought for a few long long moments, then asked, “Does this have an effect on the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny?”


April 22nd, 2011
5:49 pm

We also went to church each week, and went to Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services. I’ve been to one sunrise service; I decided I could better appreciate the Resurrection a little later in the day.


April 22nd, 2011
6:37 pm

In my humble opinion, I don’t see how one can look at a sunset, a tree, a flower, or a child for that matter and not believe there is a God at work here. But again, just my opinion and I do not harbor any ill feelings at those that don’t believe. I just don’t understand, but that’s o.k. too. Live and let live! I am looking forward to my parents coming for a visit, going to church (not just an Easter thing) and being with both of my boys at the same time. We’ll probably dye eggs, but it may be the last year as my youngest is 10 and thinks it’s kind of lame (but not too lame yet). I’ll do Easter baskets because…well, just because.

Eating Boogers For The Protein

April 22nd, 2011
7:09 pm

catlady, you misspelled Monday

Enemas for Good Friday

April 22nd, 2011
7:13 pm


I can’t help but look at the horrific things that happen and believe there is a good god. I can’t beleive that ONE man built a boat big enough to hold two of each species……Let along gather each of those species. I can’t believe in a talking snake, or a man that lived in a whale and survived. I can’t believe so many people are as gullible as you…….Just saying.


April 22nd, 2011
8:07 pm

@E-There’s one in every crowd and you qualify as it. The village is most definitely missing its idiot. Those were my opinions and you are entitled to yours. You don’t have to believe it, no one is forcing you to. But those of you who don’t, try really hard to convince those of us who do. Who are you really trying to convince….Just saying. Oh, and you misspelled “believe”.


April 22nd, 2011
9:22 pm

@ eating….Maundy is not the same as Monday….just an fyi

Enemas for Good Friday

April 22nd, 2011
10:15 pm

So forgive me.


April 23rd, 2011
9:39 am

I find it funny that things of the heart aren’t a priority. A church is, outfits are….. I have went and attended many different churches/religion I find it funny how you can have leaders who smoke drink and do unbibical things lead you…….. I find that alot of religion does not deal with matters of the heart. To be true to yourself as well as others. Claiming to believe in Christ’s death and resurection is not all there is to be a child of God. There are teachings, baptism and I have been to alot of churches who claim this. Paganism is a matter of the heart. Do you believe in your heart that Easter is about Bunny’s and eggs do you teach that to your children. Is Christmas being taught about Santa Claus or Jesus Christ. All matters of your heart. As long as you know and teach correctly and priorities are first and you know your heart is in the right place doing the right things. I see Jehovah witnesses and seven day adventist wear jeans and put jewelry on and make-up. But what does that have to do with your heart? Priest smoke and drink, before service and after…..But if you don’t believe and do what is right how can you call yourselves christian’s. I am a disciple of God, a follower. Lover of all man kind even in those who do not believe. It is an empty place to be with no hope or faith. It isn’t what you wear or where you go and even what you do in terms to holiday or events but where is your heart at? The bible was spirtually based no man would teach love peace kindness hope faith on their own free will. So I will continue to pray for all those who doesn’t know their calling to be a son/daughter of God!!!!! To help save the lost!!!!To be the best you can be so you are an Example and not just a speech giver…… I find alot of people who claim christianity but doesn’t walk in it……They are more worried about bunnies and santa claus and jeans, jewelry, things that just aren’t important……We are at war with our selves and we don’t even know it!!!!Their is a force of evil who wants to control us, and does until we pick up our cross and follow Jesus!!!!!


April 23rd, 2011
10:19 am

to all who keep saying ‘MONDAY’ is misspelled:

Maundy thursday is:
The Thursday before Easter, observed in commemoration of the Last Supper of Jesus. Also called Holy Thursday


April 23rd, 2011
10:21 am

@MJG-i sent you an email :)

health power

April 23rd, 2011
10:30 am

Thoughts for Easter in Making Dinner Together a Year-Round Tradition
(www.healthpowerforminorities.com http://www.healthpowerforminorities.com/blog/index.php )

There is no better time than Easter Dinner to follow tradition by enjoying a family meal together. These are moments when families:

· Connect with one another
· Relax, and have fun while creating and recreating memories.
The benefits for children are even greater, allowing them an opportunity to:
· Eat healthier meals,
· Learn to share and work together (especially in designing those Easter eggs),
· Naturally improve their communication skills, and
· Develop overall feelings of well-being. Hopefully this also leads parents to make a greater effort to prepare healthier meals.
It’s Not Just at Easter that Family Meals Count:
According to a 10-year study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, children who eat dinner with their parents are 40% more likely to achieve higher grades than those who eat less frequently with their parents. Eating meals together on a regular basis is an important part of the day, and making it a priority is a rewarding experience for everyone. Avoiding activities like watching television and working or playing on the computer at meal time helps in developing a regular family meal time. According to Dr. Barbara Fiese, a psychologist and researcher at Syracuse University, “Most meal times only last about 20 minutes. Therefore, having three or four shared family meals a week adds up to one to one and one-half hours, which is less time than a televised sports event or movie.” By involving the family in planning the meal, and occasionally letting the children help prepare dinner makes those meals special.
Our Invitation to you:
We invite you to share your special Easter Recipes with us, and if you know the nutritional contents, be sure to share that also, as well as where you got the recipes from. Also share any special Easter family moments or traditions. In return, we are pleased to share recipes from our Food and Fitness Channel.

Happy Easter from our families to Yours! And Remember the Health Power motto: Knowledge + Action = Power!

Purple Drank

April 23rd, 2011
1:01 pm

So there’s a Monday, a Maunday, a Thursday and a Maunday Thursday? I think you got ripped off on your calender.


April 23rd, 2011
11:05 pm

I think one of the most interesting Easter-related services I attended was a Friday service that had a procession through the Stations of the Cross (I’m Episcopal). I didn’t really clue into the fact that it was a “Good Friday” service, and wore a bright dress — felt a little awkward when I realized everyone else was wearing black or somber clothes. Duh . . . ! For me, it was a powerful re-telling of the Easter story in a different way. I’ve never had a chance to participate in another one, with family and work demands — but I always think about it on Good Friday.

Maundy Thursday was actually the day of my confirmation, so I always remember it. FYI for those of a curious frame of mind: The word “Maundy” comes from the beginning of a Latin phrase in which Jesus tells the disciples, in which he tells them to love one another as he loves them, and proceeded to wash each disciple’s feet. That’s why so many churches include a ceremonial foot-washing on Thursdays, to illustrate humility and love for others. In the Episcopal church, this is also the time that the altar (or the “table”, if you will) is stripped bare for the Good Friday and Holy Saturday observances.

Personally, I enjoy the historical significance that forms the basis of the rituals — I know others find them fussy, but I find beauty in the active remembrance.


April 24th, 2011
8:48 am

I don’t condone graverobbing so I don’t celebrate Easter.


April 24th, 2011
9:51 am

We are a Latino family, I grew up in Ecuador, this is how the Passover begings:
We have a carnaval for 5days, beginning friday afternoon, saturday, sunday, monday and tuesday. On Ash wednesday we don’t play with the water we go to church and from that day on every friday we do not eat meat, just vegetables or if you can aford seafood we also have the prayers every friday evening. When Holy thursday arrives we go to church for special services, on Holy Friday we fast for breakfast and have “FANESCA” for lunch wich is made with 12 fresh vegetables and dry “Bacalao”(dried salt cod). If you have in laws you can also do the Fanesca on Holy Thursday, so both families shares the special meal. After lunch we go to church for the special service. On Holy Saturday, we call Sabado de Gloria


April 24th, 2011
10:04 am

Sunrise services and then home to bake a ham and other goodies, reflect on the day, pray, and more than anything, be thankful for Christ.

And booze. I’ll be asleep by 5 pm until 6 am Monday morning.

It’s not the most formal thing. Me and the wife (we have no kids) did Easter eggs earlier in the week for fun. Those will be made into egg salad and potato salad today.

Really, after the sunrise service, we just hang out, she naps, I bake and drink, and enjoy the day, and I remember the center of my universe is Christ. The wife lovingly goes along with it despite her agnostic tendencies.

Old Sandra

April 24th, 2011
7:07 pm

We don’t really have very many Easter traditions. We are usually here in England for Easter so would normally just give our kids and the neice and nephews here a chocolate egg each. We didn’t this year because we just didn’t have the time as Saturday (April 23) we just flew back from visiting friends and family in ATL/Georgia. It was a good thing that I had picked up some filled eggs before we flew back because we were too tired to get anything for the kids on Saturday and almost everything was closed today. So we used the filled eggs and did a little egg hunt for the kiddos in the back garden. M-I-L was great and put a cook casserole in the fridge for us to re-heat so we didn’t have to cook when we came home. We did buy some Easter treats for our neice and nephews in Georgia before we flew back.

Off topic: I wear a size 10/12 jean here depending if I am having a “fat”/bloated day or not. I went out and bought some jeans while in Georgia and since I was having a “thin” day went for a size 8. Wow are they big! They are well too big even for a “fat”/bloated day. I have to buy a size 6/7 in the US to equal my size 10/12 here in England. What in the he”double hockey sticks” happened to the sizing in the US. When I was 20, I weighed 115lbs, wore a size 4 and if I turned sideways would become invisible. Now at 40, I weigh 135-140lbs, still need to lose a good 5-10 lbs and am a size 6/7???

Old Sandra

April 24th, 2011
7:12 pm

Sorry misspelled niece …… twice. Still suffering from jet lag.


April 25th, 2011
3:23 pm

We have an Easter egg hunt water balloon fight. Really. Kids hunt for eggs. Adults throw water balloons at kids. This year was our second annual and it was far too much fun. http://decatur.patch.com/articles/how-water-balloons-saved-civilization


April 26th, 2011
9:33 am

Passover traditions (since they were requested):

I grew up in suburban New York in the 1960’s. For all the years I was in school there (except one), Passover week was the “spring break” back then. My dad’s side of the family all lived within about 90 minutes of each other, and we’d gather at someone’s home starting a few days early so that my grandmother, my mom, and one of my aunts could start cooking the food for the seders. Grandma (who’s been gone now nearly 20 years) would make the hard-boiled eggs in salt water (I hated that), the gefilte fish, the liver (I hated that) and all the other elements needed for either the seder or the meal from scratch. My mom had one of those old choppers (this was before food processors) and I’d help to make the charoses (apples, nuts, cinnamon and wine). The bitter herbs were always horseradish, which was made from a raw root. My grandmother would run it through something similar to what butchers use to grind up meat into hamburger, except that hers initially was not electric (until she bought one that was).

We would have around 20 or so people at these seders.

One year, my dad’s brother held the seder at his home. His youngest was about 5 years old and his maternal grandfather was leading the seder. When we got to the ransoming of the afikomen, the man offered my cousin a dollar. My cousin said no. When all was said and done, my cousin had asked for the bill with the “two zeros on it,” meaning a $100. He got it.

There was one year one of my other cousins and I found the afikomen and hid it in the borshch (the red beet soup, called ‘borsht’ in English). Now THAT was a RED AFIKOMEN.

These days, as a single man in Atlanta, I am invited to join a seder put on by someone who has invited me in now for the past 4 or 5 years. The food traditions are different (western European v. eastern European), but there is a lot of fun, good fellowship, and a lot of chocolate to go with the foods to which the hostess was brought up with for the seder. Plus, it doesn’t matter – Jewish, not Jewish, white, black, yellow, straight, gay, whatever – for the night, we are a family and we enjoy each other’s company at the seder table. Oh, and this year the attendance was down to 27.