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10 Easter Traditions (Old and New)

Learn more about your favorite Easter customs and add some new ones to your family’s yearly celebrations.

Two friends do their Easter tradition of painting eggs and making Easter baskets
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On Easter morning, families will come together to celebrate the holiday with their favorite traditions. But do you know the origin behind all your Easter customs? Are you interested in changing things up and maybe adding a new way to celebrate. Here are 10 Easter traditions—five of our favorites and five new ones to try—so you can make the most out of Easter 2023.

READ MORE: 40 Beautiful Easter Quotes to Share

Favorite Easter Traditions

Family decorating Easter eggs together for their family tradition
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1. Decorating Easter eggs

Decorating Easter eggs is a custom that originated as far back as the 13th century, yet it is still a popular tradition amongst families today. Eggs are associated with the Easter story because they represent beginnings and new life. Countries all over the world have their own customs. Like pysanky, the Ukrainian art of decorating Easter eggs with hot beeswax and dye. Or the Belgium custom of dying eggs with red onion skins and leaves.

READ MORE: 10 Easter Eggs from Around the World

With so many different styles, there really is no “right way” to decorate your eggs. When you make your own, you can use crayons, food coloring, stencils, or even paint. Decorate your eggs with images of things that bring you hope—a blooming flower, a shining sun, or your favorite animal.

Colorful easter eggs on a blue background for an Easter tradition
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2. Easter egg hunts

After your eggs are decorated, head outside to hide them for an epic Easter egg hunt. Some historians believe this tradition dates back to the 16th century, when the priest Martin Luther organized an Easter egg hunt for his congregation. Even after so many years, churches, communities, and families still take part in this fun custom.

If you are hiding them for kids or grandkids, make a map showing where all the eggs are hidden. Encourage the kids to work together so no one feels left out. Even though this Easter tradition is geared toward kids, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it as an adult. Surprise your partner or spouse on Easter morning with your own Easter egg hunt. You can do it around the house, in the yard, or even use a map to make it a town or city-wide egg hunt.

Mother and son hold Easter eggs in a basket for their Easter tradition
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3. Easter baskets

The Easter tradition of Easter baskets began during medieval times when people would exchange baskets to celebrate the end of Lent. Nowadays, kids and grandkids wake up on Easter morning to find a colorful basket (perhaps from the Easter bunny) filled with decorations, candy, and toys. Keep this tradition alive within your own family by making a new and unique Easter basket every year. Consider making them not just for the kids, but also for your friends, neighbors, coworkers, or people you know who may be spending their Easter alone. This tradition is a great way to give something small and let someone know that you are thinking about them.

People attend a church service for their Easter tradition
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4. Attending an Easter service

On Easter Sunday, people across the country will wake up early and dress up for Easter service. Many churches host special services and events on the day, like choral concerts and festivals. If you are considering attending an Easter service, bring the whole family and then some. See if there is anyone in your life who wants to join you. Perhaps someone who does not have anyone else to go with. Make a day of it by going out for lunch after and sharing your favorite parts of the service.

If you are not attending an Easter service this year, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Easter at home. Gather the family together and try one of these traditions:

READ MORE: The Easter Story in 14 Bible Passages

Five kids doing the tradition of an Easter egg hunt with baskets
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5. Attend an Easter Parade

Easter parades are a tradition that started back in the 1800s, when people would promenade (or take a leisurely walk in a populated area) after Easter services. They eventually evolved into their own events that take place on the city streets. Many classic parades also include a bonnet contest where people can show off expertly crafted bonnets and win a prize. Google to see if there is an Easter parade in your town or city and make a day of it with the whole family. There are sometimes petting zoos, magic shows, face painting, and rides.

New Easter Traditions

Brother and sister lie in a field doing their Easter egg tradition
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1. Have an Easter egg scavenger hunt

This year, instead of doing the usual Easter egg hunt by searching all over the house or yard, try starting a new tradition by having a family scavenger hunt. Begin with a clue that will lead the participants to the first egg. In that egg, put a clue for the next egg. Then keep going until they find the ultimate prize at the end—perhaps a treasure trove of goodies or an Easter basket. You can have the scavenger hunt lead people around the house, around the neighborhood, or even around your whole town. Pick spots that are family favorites, like a playground, a restaurant, or a school.

Couples looking for a way to make Easter special can take up this tradition as well. Make a scavenger hunt for your spouse or partner as an Easter surprise. Pick sports that are important for you both, like where you met, the spot for your first date, the first place you kissed, or the place where you got married. End the scavenger hunt with a special Easter dinner or an Easter gift.

Family doing their tradition of an Easter dinner
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2. Share hope during Easter dinner

Easter dinner is a wonderful time for everyone to come together and enjoy some good food and laughs. Make the meal even more special by focusing on what this season is about: hope. Sharing what hope means to us with our loved ones can bring us closer together and help us dig deeper into the spiritual importance of this season. Here are some prompts to get you all started:

  • What does hope mean to you?
  • What brings you a sense of hope?
  • What are you hopeful for in the future?
  • How can you bring hope to others?

READ MORE: 7 Spring Prayers for Hope and New Beginnings

Couple having their traditional Easter bonfire together
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3. Have an Easter bonfire

The Easter custom of lighting a bonfire is actually an old tradition originating from Germany. It is meant to symbolize a light within darkness (like the Resurrection) and the end of the winter season. Bring this custom into your own family’s Easter celebrations. You can do this by lighting a fire pit in your backyard (be sure to check your neighborhood’s fire safety laws) or seeing if your community does a bonfire every year. As you gather around the fire, take turns reading an Easter Bible verse or quote, sharing any lessons you learned during the chilly winter months, or saying what you look forward to in the spring season.

Two people holding hands in forgiveness for their Easter tradition
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4. Forgive someone

Singer Reba McEntire once said, “Easter is very important to me. It’s a second chance.” Let this season be the opportunity to give someone a second chance. Like Jesus forgiving our sins, we can embody this grace in our own Easter celebrations. Whether it’s a friend you’ve fallen out with, a coworker who bothered you, or a neighbor you never got along with, now is the time to approach life with an attitude of acceptance and mercy. Here are some ways to reach forgiveness for a past wrong:

  • Write down what made you sad or angry on a piece of paper. Then tear up the paper, letting it go with each tear.
  • Tell the person that you forgive them, whether in person or by letter.
  • Read Bible verses or pray about forgiveness to understand it on a deeper level.
  • Don’t forget that the road to forgiveness often includes forgiving ourselves as well.

READ MORE: Luke 23:34—A Closer Look at Forgiveness

Young woman doing her Easter tradition of cooking for her elderly neighbor
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5. Do a yearly act of kindness

This is a time to remember how blessed we are. This Easter, start the tradition of being a blessing for someone else. Whether you do it for a family member, friend, acquaintance, coworker, neighbor, or a stranger, doing one act of kindness every Easter can lift your spirits and remind you what this season is all about. Here are a few tips for good deeds to do. Do them on your own, with your partner, or together as a family.

  • Take a meal to someone alone on Easter
  • Volunteer your time on Easter weekend
  • Organize a neighborhood Easter egg hunt
  • Donate to an animal shelter

READ MORE: 10 Acts of Kindness to Do for Easter

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