Easter & Passover Stories from the FiorellaEats Team
Filipino Easter Nicole Santos
For Filipinos, Easter celebrations start on Palm Sunday, the week before Easter. The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country, therefore “Holy Week” is all about religious observance, local community processions, praying and even fasting. My grandmother (Lola) and mother would always show me pictures of their processions, symbolic of the “Passion of the Christ” in Binan, Laguna, full of intricate floats carrying dioramas of religious scenes. But they couldn’t exactly bring those traditions over to the US. Instead, I remember mastering the art of folding palms into crosses, attending Mass Holy Wednesday, Holy Thursday and visiting 12-14 churches and praying to all stations of the cross at each church. When Easter Sunday finally came around, we would all wear our brightest, spring clothes, attend Mass and go to lunch at my grandmothers, where we usually prepared an egg hunt for the kids.
Over time some of my family has left the religious traditions to mostly the older generation, mostly my Lola, mother, older cousins. Yet one thing about Easter is there is a lot of food, especially meat and fish! We don’t have many food traditions around Easter, except most religious members fast starting Palm Sunday and give up meat until Easter. But for many of us it’s just another occasion to enjoy great food with the whole family.
Passover Lauren Loeb
Passover is a very special time for my family. It brings back a lot of memories of my grandparents, so we always treasure this time together. Passover begins at sundown and ends the following week. There are two nights of services. We begin with a service where we read from the prayer book. During the seder we each take turns reading around the table to get everyone involved. Because I am the youngest I always do the four questions.
Following the first part of seder, we have dinner which is a huge meal of matzo ball soup, melon, gefilte fish, brisket, sweet potatoes, broccoli and roasted potatoes. One tradition my grandma started was sticking an upside down spoon on her nose and seeing how long it can balance. To keep my grandma with us during the service we always do this, it is a funny moment for my family. After dinner we have the concluding service which isn’t long and after that we finally have dessert. During this entire time we can’t have any bread. The entire week goes without bread so instead we have matzo. The best meal my mom makes is matzo brei which is kind of like a matzo pancake, it is so good with cinnamon and maple syrup. This week gets a little tough without bread but it brings my family together and we have dinner together every night.
Easter Nicole Hamilton
Easter is a special holiday for our family! It is mainly centered around the children and celebrating Christian Easter stories. When we woke up as kids we always had an easter basket waiting on us, full of books, candy, and most importantly a chocolate bunny. We start the day with an Easter program at church where all the children read their Easter speeches and perform a play of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.
After church there’s always an Easter egg hunt that’s lots of fun for the kids. There’s a golden egg that is plastic and filled with usually chocolate and some cash. The other eggs are colorful-dyed, boiled eggs made earlier in the week usually by the kids and their parents.
After the Easter egg hunt it was our tradition to go out to eat somewhere in the city. Something family casual like an Outback Steakhouse or Olive Garden.
My niece last Easter