Tiffany LovegroveMarch 13, 2023
With the arrival of autumn we turn toward the important cosmic festival of Easter- this year beginning from Good Friday on 7th April and culminating on Easter Sunday 9th April.
For many families around the world Easter is a deeply significant time for reflection, hope and renewal.
How is this expressed in your home and community and how do you bring it to the children in your care?
Easter is celebrated in the southern hemisphere at the first full moon after the Autumn equinox. Our festival table naturally reflects what is happening outside.
Nature speaks a language small children understand, providing the foundation upon which they can build coherent thoughts later in life.
“Easter in Autumn” by Collette Leenman, written specifically for audiences in the southern hemisphere is a wonderful resource for reflecting on the themes found in celebrating an Easter in Autumn, assisting families to find meaningful ways to participate in Easter’s rich spiritual foundations.
It offers ways of bringing Easter to children, with lots of practical activities within context. You might return to these activities each year as part of establishing family traditions, to support a nourishing family cultural life.
We share some ideas here with you.
Life bearing elements are symbolised by eggs, chickens, the hare – you can read more about this in “Easter in Autumn.”
These beautiful eggs were coloured using Seccorell smudge sticks: create the fine shavings using the scraper, and apply with your finger to a damp egg shell. The shell takes up the first application of pigment most fully. After that, the pigment doesn’t really have anything to ‘stick’ to. So with children you might like to guide them to see the eggshell as a ‘canvas’ for colouring the white areas rather than layering colour on colour. You could also use a bit of gold paint for some extra detail.
Dying eggs with onion skins and creating patterns from leaves is another option, detailed in Collette Leenman’s book.
Plant wheat grass seeds in a shallow open ceramic dish and watch it grow – it provides a beautiful living addition to your Easter table, representing new life! You can buy wheat at a health food shop, and you will only need 3-4 handfuls to plant.
Sprinkle it just a few mm under the soil, lightly cover it and water it regularly, in a full sunny spot. It will grow before your (and your children’s) eyes within 10 days.
Place it on your festive table and bring some decorations to it such as little eggs, felted chickens, hares etc or add Ostheimer figures (we have a beautiful range of rabbits and chickens).
Some of the colours typically symbolic at Easter include purple (the colour of Lent), white and gold for Easter Day, and red for the passion of Christ. You can read more widely on the historical/cultural background of how colours have been used in Easter rituals if you are interested. I’ve used a lustrous red silk cloth as the background, some white silk for contrast and gold under my dish of wheat grass.
Prepare special food together: children remember the food of festivals. In our commercially driven world there is a big push to eat hot cross buns in the month (or more) prior to Easter. This diminishes the potential of having a special treat on a particular symbolic day – let us hold on to the actual significance of the hot cross bun and reserve it just for Good Friday! The growing anticipation makes the pleasure all the sweeter when the space is really held for this. Making hot cross buns is a very satisfying experience for children!
Honeybee carries a beautiful range of books, craft (including felt and felting needles), decorative items and gifts which are just right for Easter. For inspiration, have a look online, in store or subscribe to our newsletter.
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