Happy Spring Equinox!
I’ve been thinking recently about Easter; this year, Frida is old enough to really have a sense of the festivals we celebrate, and I know that many the seasonal rhythms we lay down now will stay with us for years to come as they are slowly woven into the fabric of our family.
As I have mentioned before we are a secular family, so Easter does not hold the same significance in our family as it will for many of yours. However, despite not being religious we will still celebrate Easter. This is because I think there is something so very special about the start of spring. The new life everywhere, the feeling of hope and light after darkness, the celebratory feel of the longer days; it’s not hard to see why the spring equinox has been celebrated with various festivals by many cultures and throughout history.
For Easter, we will be gifting Frida the figures pictured above (available here and here). I wasn’t planning on giving her an Easter gift as it’s so close to her birthday, but when I saw these I couldn’t resist as we have been really enjoying reading The Story of the Root ChildrenEdit together. We will also give her a new book (I went for Pelle’s New Suit, a sweet story about how the lamb’s wool Pelle collects is eventually turned into a beautiful blue suit – a good insight into how clothes were traditionally made).
If you are looking for secular ways to celebrate Easter and the spring equinox, here are a few ideas.
Dye some eggs for a colourful Easter table, or for your spring nature display. This egg dye looks wonderful. If dyeing isn’t your thing, or your children prefer something more hands-on, then you could paint eggs.
Make egg-shell candles. I am planning on making these with Frida this year; all you need is eggs, wax, candle wicks, and something to hold your eggshell (I’ve seen modelling clay used, or an egg cup). There are a few tutorials online.
Felt some colourful eggs. If you don’t want to use real eggs, why not make some beautiful bright felted eggs? Wet felting is so easy, and it’s a wonderful sensory experience for little hands. If you want a sweet extension activity, you could also make your own bird-nest together to display them in.
Decorate a branch for an Easter display, and hang it with flowers, eggs (paper, card, or blown eggs all work wonderfully) and colourful yarn.
Have an Easter egg hunt. I know it’s a cliche, but children young and old love hunting for eggs and I hope this will be a beloved tradition Frida will look forward to each year. We are going to hide an egg in our garden, but if you don’t have outdoor space many parks and community spaces hold egg hunts for children. In our home eggs are hidden by mummy and daddy, not the Easter bunny!
Tell simple spring stories with a few props – you could use playsilks, animals, people, and natural finds such as twigs or flowers. The Waldorf tradition of telling stories through simple puppet shows is one I love, and it is a wonderful way of drawing children into stories. The stories don’t have to be complex; perhaps a child is sowing seeds with their grandmother, and the rain comes down to give them a drink so they can grow, or maybe a hen has laid some eggs which will hatch into chicks, or a little bunny is out collecting carrots and meets a bird looking for juicy worms.
Eat a special family meal, and decorate the table with bulbs or fresh flowers. Much like with Christmas, there is something special about making an Easter feast year after year, especially if you involve the whole family in preparing it.
When Frida gets older we will talk to her about the stories behind Easter and Pesach, the Jewish festival of Passover which usually occurs around the same time, but for now the focus will be on growth, hope, light, and life. Not bad things to celebrate!