Saturday, April 23, 2011

Celebrating Easter

Our family has lots of Christmas traditions. It troubles me and David that we don’t have so many Easter traditions. And yet, Easter is arguably even more religiously significant that Christmas.

It’s tempting to say that we have fewer traditions for Easter because we’re trying to make it more holy, but the way it’s actually worked out is that Easter is just easier to forget than Christmas. So in the last few years we’ve been thinking harder about how we celebrate.

We spend our daily family scripture study during December re-memorizing and reciting the Biblical Christmas story from the gospel of Luke. About three years ago we started memorizing and reciting the Easter story from the gospel of John. This year, for the first time, it feels like a welcome, familiar tradition. I like the way the daily recitation gives shape to the season. It also prompts lots of conversation about tiny details of the story that deepen the significance of the season for me.

We’ve always colored Easter eggs. This year we did it in the traditionally Bosnian way, a tradition I’d like to keep, connecting up our family history to our religious history.

Another change this year that I think worked: we had an Easter meal the week before Easter. We’ll still have an Easter dinner on Easter Sunday, but why not extend the holiday? At Christmas there are lots of foods we eat throughout the month just because it’s Christmastime.

So last Sunday we had trout—fresh trout is plentiful, reasonably-priced, and delicious in Bosnia—and honeycomb that we had picked up at a honey fair (luckily we had a friend visiting who coached us on how to eat honeycomb—you spread it on warm toast). While we ate, we read the account of Christ’s eating fish and honeycomb after his resurrection and cooking fish on the beach to feed his disciples. 

“Next year let’s cook the fish over fire,” suggested Isaac. Just what I want to hear—my child suggesting an Easter tradition.

I’m curious about what Easter traditions work for your family.

I loved this article by one of David's former students about Easter at her house.  


g said...

I am most flattered that you included my post in your Easter article. We are very much a work in progress, but your post inspires me to keep at it. I love what you are doing. Your fish looks delicious. We do the fish and honeycomb as well, but I need some practice/help on the fish. I got a whole fish several years ago and it was a mess! I've chickened out and done easy salmon fillets in recent years. Your whole fish is calling to me, though. What do you do to yours?

Annette said...

David cooks the fish. We buy cleaned whole trout from the fishmonger (all over here in Sarajevo!). He cuts off the heads and tails, dredges them in flour with salt and pepper, and then cooks them on our electric griddle (the one we do pancakes on, too) in a puddle of oil for ten minutes a side. Last time, he stuffed the cavity of the fish with grated lemon zest before he cooked it and poured lemon juice over the fish at the table.

Our five year old hates the bones, but the rest of us love it.