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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Celebrating Easter



Easter has its beginnings in ancient Christian holidays, pagan celebrations, and spring festivals. Long before the celebration of Easter as the resurrection of Jesus Christ, people celebrated a spring festival. The sun was an important part of the celebration. Without it, there would be no life on earth. The people feasted, danced, sang, and exchanged gifts. They rejoiced over the rebirth of life in the fields and forests. Today these customs and legends combine to make our Easter Sunday.

At Easter, we celebrate the earth’s new year of growth, after the cold, dark days of winter. Easter, the goddess of spring, gave the Easter festival its name and favorite animal, the rabbit. The rabbit, or hare, represents love, fertility, and growth. Many people around the world have a day to celebrate the arrival of spring.

The Easter egg is a good example of a custom that began many thousands of years ago. For ancient peoples, the symbol of new life was an egg. When the shell was broken, a new life came into the world. Some myths state that the world itself began as an huge egg. The world-egg split in two. The upper half became the heavens and the lower half the earth. For thousands of years, it has been the custom to give eggs as gifts during the spring festival. Today we have fun dyeing them in bright colors and decorating them with simple designs.

Easter is some time between March 22 and April 25 and comes at the end of the Christian Holy Week. It may fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon following March 21 which is the first day of spring.

Other customs and practices of Easter include wearing new clothes to celebrate the new year of life. In New York City and many other big cities, an important part of the holiday is the Easter Parade. People stroll in their new clothes, with many women and young girls wearing Easter bonnets, hats that have been decorated with flowers and pretty ribbons. Flowers are popular gift at Easter, especially the Easter lily, which also decorates the churches.

8 April is the Easter this year.



Make your Easter Basket.

Materials List

paper

scissors

glue

pencil

decorations

Procedure

• Fold the paper in half.

• Take one side of the paper and fold it back on itself. Repeat on the other side. Your paper should now be folded in quarters, but it should be like a fan fold.



• draw a design or trace a pattern on the paper. Make sure it touches on both sides, and leave a bit room at the bottom. Add a tab to the bottom of your pattern.

Cut out along the lines.



• The four shapes are the four sides to your basket. Fold each of the bottom tabs towards the center.

• Cut out a small tab from the scrap paper. Fold it in half. Put glue along the outside. Put the tab on one edge of the basket, and glue to the other side of the basket to complete the square.

• Cut out a square from the extra paper. Put a bit of glue on the top of each of the tabs. Put the square into the center of the basket to make the bottom.

• Add a handle of twisted paper, or ribbon.

Hints

• For your first basket, use an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper. Your finished basket will be about 2 inches square.

• For a stronger basket, glue a cardboard square under the bottom of the basket.

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