Easter Traditions

Madeline Dooley, Reporter

In the United States of America, 69 percent of people celebrate Easter as a religious holiday. However, just because it’s a religious holiday to most, many Americans still celebrate with bunnies, eggs, and candy. Local places around Alaska participate in Easter celebrations, too. For instance, the Dimond Center hosted a large Easter egg hunt.

Even Though the majority of America celebrates this spring holiday, there is still a great diversity within it. People of different ages, religious and ethnic backgrounds around Alaska all have similarities and differences when it comes to their celebration and Easter. J. L McCarrey, a 69-year-old father of five children and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints says, “Easter is better than most holidays.” McCarrey believes that Easter is great time to do activities with the family instead of focusing on other hectic events that preside other holidays such as Christmas.

McCarrey notes that Easter becomes more complicated with addition of children. He admits Hiding eggs and preparing the younger children for Easter Sunday can be stressful at times. However, McCarrey says, “I can’t think of a single thing I don’t like about Easter.”

McCarrey enjoys a more traditional Easter feast, which includes lamb with mint jelly.

Afton Milliman, who is a 15-year-old high school student at West Anchorage High School, enjoys celebrating Easter and has her own traditions, too. Milliman says, “I like Easter because you get a lot of chocolate,” proving one is never too old to anticipate stuffing their face with free candy.

Milliman, whose favorite movie is Zootopia, also says, “Zootopia has a bunny, and Easter is based on bunnies,” which she uses as another reason to like Easter.

Milliman notes that her family traditions including dying and hiding Easter Eggs along with eating large quantities of candy.

Milliman really admires the concept of the Easter bunny because she says, “ He’s so cute and fluffy!” She also notes that she likes anyone who would bring her free candy.

Unlike Milliman, Jen Saelee, who is a 17- year-old West student, has a different opinion on the Easter Bunny. Saelee says, “The Easter bunny is just creepy and weird.”

Family is an important part to Saelee, who says, “Besides, Christmas, Easter is the only time my whole family likes to be together.”

Saelee, who is a member of the Roman Catholic church, helps her younger siblings get ready for morning mass. She then spends the rest of the day at her grandparent’s house.

Saelee says that she experiences a unique Easter because she blends her very religious Filipino side with her white, Western side of the family into one tradition. This means she watches American Easter films while she chows down on traditional Filipino food.  

Although McCarrey, Milliman, and Saelee may have unique routines for Easter, they do all share similarities. They all hide eggs, go to church, and eat their favorite Easter food.