Passover and Easter: a Guide to Celebrating These Spring Holidays Virtually!
Not only has Spring sprung, but we are currently celebrating two big holidays in the Jewish and Christian communities: Passover and Easter! Both holidays represent the renewal of life, in perfect correlation with springtime. Below is a guide to understanding why each holiday is celebrated, and how to celebrate with the friends and family you love, including some COVID-safe virtual Passover and Easter ideas!
Why it’s celebrated
Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, is a Jewish celebration of the freedom of the Israelites from 200 years of slavery in ancient Egypt. The story goes that over 3,000 years ago, a man named Moses was sent by God to deliver the Jewish people from their bondage. It took ten plagues until the Pharoah finally let them be free! Today, the holiday symbolizes resilience, renewal, and freedom.
How it’s celebrated
Passover is an eight-day-long observance that always begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan. Because the Hebrew calendar is a lunar calendar, its actual date on a secular calendar varies from year to year – much like the Chinese New Year. Passover starts at sundown of the first night (which corresponds to March 27 in 2021) with a special meal called the Seder, which means “order”. The Seder is guided by a book called the hagaddah, which represents the story of Passover and Jewish liberation alongside seven symbolic foods. Some of those items include hard-boiled eggs that represent the circle of life and a fruit-nut mix called charoset which represents both the clay that was used to make bricks and the sweetness in life. Children play an important role in the seder and sing many fun songs throughout the night. The holiday also includes a restriction of diet throughout, as people celebrate by replacing leavened flours like bread with a cracker called ‘matzah’. Each family ends the ‘bread fast’ differently, but it is typically celebrated with a visit to the Synagogue, sweets, and a meal full of carbs!
Virtual Passover celebration ideas
Make a Haggadah script
A big part of the seder is the reading of the Haggadah. Take the readings and put them into a PDF to assign everyone who would like to read a role. This way, everyone gets to feel included + no one will be talking over each other!
For the seder
If you are planning the seder ahead, ask everyone joining the Zoom to send a recipe beforehand, so that everyone has a little part of each member of the call with them at the table.
Hiding the afikomen via Zoom
When it comes to hiding the afikomen, a special piece of the matzah, USA Today suggests picking a hiding place in your mind and play ’20 Questions’ to have guests guess where it is hidden!
Check out Taste of Home’s list of kosher wines perfect for your seder.
Why it’s celebrated
Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ almost 2,000 years ago. It symbolizes the defeat of death and the celebration of new life. In the Christian church, it is not just a single day, but a season. The 40-day period before Easter Sunday is called lent, and it is a time of penance and self-reflection. In modern times, Easter is often represented by the Easter Bunny. The rabbit represents an abundance of new life and serves as a reminder of Spring and the growth that lies ahead.
How it’s celebrated
Easter is typically celebrated with a church service filled with candles and festive music. Easter eggs are given out at the services, usually in the form of little chocolates! Many families also choose to color hard-boiled eggs, which symbolize new life, with various colored dyes and stickers. The eggs are then hidden around the home, for everyone to hunt for Easter morning. Another fun tradition is the egg roll, where you compete with friends and family by rolling an egg against another. The egg that remains unbroken wins!
Virtual Easter celebration ideas
Plan a Zoom easter egg hunt
Check out this list of tips for shifting your yearly egg hunt online. Fun ways to get everyone engaged on Zoom include gifting the winner a gift card, incorporating some riddles, and getting creative with photos!
Play some Easter Bingo
Get everyone in the mood for a little competition by playing Easter bingo! Check out Presently’s Pinterest bingo board for some free printable template ideas.
Compete with Easter trivia
Calling all trivia lovers! Check out this list of 75 festive Easter Q and A’s by Parade, with questions on topics ranging from candy sales stats to egg dyeing history!
Zoom tips for both holidays
Switch up your background
Delish has come up with some hysterical Zoom backgrounds made for both Easter and Passover! Make your celebration more festive than ever with a matzah-themed backdrop or a dancing Easter bunny option to get all the cousins laughing.
Virtual Passover and Easter ideas like spending time with your family online and sending your family messages of love and celebration using Presently’s group cards or individual e-cards are great choices! You can even prompt each family member to write down a favorite holiday memory for everyone to reflect on and smile about over the call 🙂
Happy Passover and Easter from the Presently fam! ❤️
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