It it always important to remember that not everyone celebrates the same holidays in the same ways. There is always someone out there that does something different. And different is ok. Teaching our children this as we celebrate our holidays is an integral way to move us toward a more tolerant and accepting society. This post is how our family celebrated Easter this year, starting with learning about the history of this holiday.
Before the Christian religion co-opted Easter as its own holiday, the Anglo-Saxons celebrated the goddess of fertility and spring, Eostre. The symbolism surrounding modern-day Easter can easily be explained by exploring how the Anglo-Saxons celebrated: Eostre’s earthly symbol was the rabbit and, quite obviously, eggs are symbols of fertility.
As I reflect on this, I cannot help but notice the switch from celebrating a woman for her life-giving power to celebrating something quite the opposite. In any event, our family set out to commemorate Eostre, do some science, and enjoy a lovely spring day.
First, we started a little science experiment to make an egg that bounces. The experiment is still in progress. But we did the first step:
- Place egg in bowl and cover with vinegar.
- Wait 3 days for the completion of a chemical reaction between the calcium carbonate of the eggshell and the acetic acid in the vinegar. (You can see some bubbles of carbon dioxide forming on the egg below.)
We’ll see if it works.
Next, we dyed eggs experimenting with natural materials. The materials we chose were beets, purple sweet potatoes, spinach, and turmeric.
To make the dye, we placed a generous amount of each into their own pot of boiling water along with 2 tablespoons of vinegar and simmered for 30 minutes.
After straining the natural materials from the dye mixtures, we let them cool for a bit before placing the already hard-boiled eggs in them to soak up the dye. Natural dyes are not as intense as the dyes from the store, but they are beautiful.
And you get mashed purple sweet potatoes!
We finished up our family secular Easter for the Restivus with mud puddles and shooting hoops. Fun!
UPDATE: After 4 days, we removed our eggs from the vinegar and, sure enough, they bounced!
My son shot this video as he instructed his sister to bounce it higher.
She didn’t, so he bounced his higher. This is what happened: