Easter means a lot more than chocolate bunnies and jelly bean filled plastic eggs. The region around Provo is bounding with opportunities to celebrate the Easter season. While Easter is celebrated to remember the life and resurrection of the Savior Jesus Christ, events this time of year also have significant meaning for cultures and religions outside of Christianity. Here are five activities and suggestions to enhance your appreciation for this special season.
1. Download Easter-themed talks from lds.org
“None were with Him,” by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, and “Act in All Diligence,” by President Henry B. Eyring are appropriate messages that match the season of Christ’s Atonement and Resurrection with the demands BYU students face this busy time of year.
Amidst the strain and pressure of finals, make time for the Savior Jesus Christ. Whether in your own personal scripture study, or on bended knees, reflect on what His life and sacrifice has meant for you, and what it means for all mankind. Love those around you the way He would if He were here, and this Easter may become one of the most sacred occasions you have yet experienced.
2. Hold your own seder feast
Passover is the time of year when Jews commemorate their exodus from Egypt and the Israelites deliverance by God through the prophet Moses. It is also the time when Jesus Christ partook of the Last Supper with the Twelve Apostles prior to his ascent on the cross and his Atoning sacrifice in Gethsemane.
Students can celebrate the holiday by holding a traditional meal similar to the festival Jesus would have experienced during his final week on earth.
“We do all the symbolic foods: horseradish for the bitter herbs, parsley, onions, lettuce and there’s an apple walnut salad, matzah crackers and then the grape juice,” said Patti Smith, director of the Religion Education Faculty Support Center, who has helped coordinate the seder celebrations at BYU for many years.
While the full ceremony lasts about three and a half hours, students can modify the full service to commemorate their own passover experience.
“There’s a shortened version, rather than going through the whole Haggadah program or narrative,” Smith said.
Those interested in performing the shorter 30-minute seder service can contact Patti Smith for a PDF version containing the traditional prayers and an explanation of the traditional symbolism at Passover. More information about BYU’s yearly seder feasts is available at (801) 422-8325.
3. Go on an Easter Egg hunt
The Provo City Easter egg hunt will take place the morning of April 19, 2014. While the scramble for eggs is limited to kids ages 10 and under, arts, crafts and activities will be in available in the morning for students and people of all ages. Zippy the Chipmunk and Cosmo should be on hand for the kiddies, along with impromptu photograph opportunities with the Easter Bunny. The hunt begins at 11 a.m. at the the BYU fields on 1600 N Canyon Road.
4. Hop over to the Provo Spring Festival
Later Saturday, April 19, the Provo Spring Festival kicks off 6 p.m. at Rock Canyon Park, featuring delicious food, indie music, live entertainment and more.
“It’s free for all ages and features food, music and vendors,” said Joshua Pothoof of Guest Services at Provo Parks & Recreation. “They’re pulling out all the stops.”
Students can watch “Frozen” on a huge 25-foot inflatable screen or participate in any of the numerous activities including zorb soccer, bowling, and sunset yoga. They can also help complete a community mural or view art from a variety of local artists.
5. Hide jelly beans for your roommates
Nothing beats waking up to hidden treats strewn about the house. Help your roommates or your spouse recreate the festivities and memories of Easters gone by serendipitously placing Easter eggs around the apartment Saturday night. Just don’t forget where you hid all the candy, or the spiders and mice might be as excited about this year’s Easter as you are.
Before the weekend passes, be sure to call home during the weekend and thank the most important people in your life for their examples, service and a lifetime of wonderful memories. Then roast up a delicious pig and enjoy an Easter feast a la mode – with funeral potatoes, green beans and a hearty gathering of roommates or other special guests. Remember the true meaning of Easter is life, so share and relish it with everyone around you!