Easter is one of the most widely-celebrated holidays around the world when Christians commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, every culture varies greatly on how they celebrate it, some having very unique traditions.
The week before Easter is known as Holy Week or, in Spanish, “Semana Santa.” In Mexico, many people participate in religious processions and attend mass during this week. For me, my favorite way to celebrate always came the day before Easter, which is known as “Sabado de Gloria” or “Holy Saturday”. In Mexico, the typical tradition is to go to the water park or throw water at unsuspecting family and friends.
When I was little, it was one of my favorite holidays. It was great – I’d get to throw water at my cousins and would cry in excitement when a bucket of water engulfed my entire body. On one occasion, I had chicken pox and was not allowed to go outside. I was saddened that everyone was getting wet but I was stuck inside. Yet, my cousins snuck into my home and threw water at me anyways. My mom was not happy, but I was excited to be included in the tradition.
In America, of course, everyone is familiar with the traditions of the Easter Bunny and hiding colorful eggs for children to find in Easter egg hunts. For me, that was yet another culture shock when I moved to America, as there is no Easter Bunny in Mexican culture. Yet, the first time I took part in an Easter egg hunt with my siblings, we ran all over the park until we were exhausted. And the best part was the candy and coins we found inside the eggs – it was a double surprise.
While the Easter Bunny is not of Christian origin, it has become as American as apple pie. And it is traditions like these that help welcome people from other parts of the world into American culture.
Easter traditions show that America is still a melting pot of cultures. Every year, people come together in their community centers, local parks, and schools to celebrate the holiday. But, by coming together they are also celebrating their community, because people feel connected to one another – even those they have never met.
That is one of the beautiful things about building strong communities, and one of the things that I appreciate about America. There are many countries where its people stick to their own and are not as inviting of others. Yet, America is different. It doesn’t matter if one is Christian, everyone can partake in the Easter tradition because it has become an American tradition.