April 13, 2016
By McKenzie Lee
As a child, I would always look forward to Easter, a holy day in the Christian church that is celebrated in Spring. Many individuals in the United States celebrate Easter Sunday. While Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, others celebrate this special day as one which recognizes the joy of Spring time. For weeks in advance of the holiday, grocery stores market a wide array of Easter candies- chocolate covered bunnies, peanut butter chocolates wrapped in the pastel colors of spring, marshmallow bunnies covered in sweet sugar, and little chocolate candies shaped like Easter eggs. An Easter bunny, for many, has come to represent a critical part of the Easter celebration. Many malls will hire an adult to dress up as an Easter bunny, and kids will line up to take pictures with the Easter bunny.
Many children across the United States participate in an Easter egg hunt. While the origins of this Easter tradition are not widely known, some believe that the eggs of the Easter egg hunt symbolize rebirth.
Growing up, I remember going to the store with my parents a couple of days before Easter and purchasing eggs. We would boil a pot of water and hard boil the eggs. While the eggs were cooling, my sisters and I would grab our egg decorating supplies: colorful dyes, acrylic paints and paint brushes, stickers celebrating spring, and glitter. We would then drop the tablets of dye into a few different bowls that were filled with vinegar and water and let the tablet dissolve. Within a couple of minutes, we were ready to start dipping the eggs into the colorful bowls. Initially, I would create mono-colored eggs but, as the time wore on, I would start getting more adventurous: dipping the top third of the egg in yellow and the bottom in green.
My sisters and I would then bring out the paints and paintbrushes. Sometimes we would write sweet words on to the colorful eggs, other times we would work together to create an intricate design, or paint a beautiful bouquet of flowers. The last touch would always be the stickers and the glitter! As a child, I would then go to sleep.
On Easter morning, my sisters and I would wake up and all of our decorated eggs would have been hidden, presumably by the “Easter Bunny”. In addition to the homemade eggs, the Easter Bunny would have hidden dozens of plastic eggs filled with Easter candy. My sisters and I would then race around the house and the front yard with our Easter baskets collecting the eggs. Some of the eggs would be easy to find, hiding beneath a rug or in a plant, but other eggs would be hidden in the back corner of a desk drawer or in a jacket pocket. I could always look forward to finding a couple of Cadbury eggs (chocolate covered eggs filled with a white sugary substance and a small orange sugary substance meant to mimic an actual egg) and bunches of brightly-colored plastic eggs filled with jelly beans, mini Snickers, Hot Tamales, and other favorite candy. And a few years, I remember the Easter Bunny filling a few of the plastic eggs with money!
Now, I try and re-create some of this tradition for my community. With a friend or two, I purchase a bunch of eggs and plan a painting party. I then take to the streets and pass out the hand decorated eggs to any child that I see!