Easter marks the most important religious celebration of the Christian faith. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which his followers believe occurred on the third day after his death. Unlike Christmas there is no fixed date for Easter, but it always falls on a Sunday (usually between late March and late April). Christians may commemorate this day according to their religious denomination; however the custom of sunrise service is quite common.
Over the centuries religious observances have been supplemented by popular customs, some having their origins in pre-Christian religions. Some of these customs were incorporated from springtime fertility celebrations of European and middle-eastern pagan religions, as a solute to spring marking re-birth. For instance, Easter Bunny and Easter eggs are considered to have their roots as pagan symbols for fertility.
Easter eggs are viewed as symbol of joy and celebration, and of new life and resurrection. Easter eggs, of both the hard-boiled and chocolate varieties are found around the world.
On Easter Sunday children hunt for brightly colored eggs around the houses believed to be left there by Easter Bunny.
So color some hard boiled eggs (kits are available in all the drug stores, grocery stores and discount stores.) or get some plastic eggs and fill them with jelly beans, chocolates or coins. Hide them in the house or in the yard, be creative, have fun and have a hunt with your kids. Everyone will love it!
For over 40 years Earth Day has mobilized and motivated people and organizations around the world to demonstrate their committment to environmental protection.
REDUCE, REUSE & RECYCLE!!
Some Earth Day Activities for Kids at http://www.epa.gov/region5/publications/happy/happy.pdf
Fone Champaiporn has spent one year with the Kull family in the Hamptons, Long Island. Back in November her host family said this about Fone, “We are grateful to our au pair Fone because she is a lovely and kind person. She truly cares for our children and she is interested in everything that our family does. In just a few months, she has > become an integral member of our family (much appreciated also by grandparents on both sides) and we cannot imagine being without her!!!
Fone is a young woman from Thailand. She graduated from Silpakorn University where her major was French and minor was English. She loves languages and wanted to spend time in the USA really learning our culture. Au Pair in America was the perfect way for her to combine her love of children and dream to experience America. On April 19,2011 Fone began her second year with her host family. Au Pairs originally come for one year, but have the option to extend for 6, 9 or 12 more months. Fone and her host family are very happy that they had this option.
To celebrate her second year with their family, Fone’s host family surprised her with some gifts. She was truly touched and said this in response, “It was a cute surprise from my host family for my first anniversary in the USA! It makes me love them even more! <3 ^_^
Passover begins at sunset on Monday, April 18, 2011. Its celebration continues through the evening of Tuesday, April 26, 2011.
What is Passover?
Passover, or Pesach commemorates the Israelites Exodus from Egypt. Its name refers to the passage in the Book of Exodus (12:11) when God “passed over” the houses of the Israelites during the tenth plague. Passover is one of three pilgrimage festivals, along with Sukkot and Shavuot.
What are some Passover customs and practices?
It is traditional on Passover to only eat unleavened food. Many rid their entire house of hametz (food that is not kosher for Passover) or sell their leavened food to a non-Jew for the eight days of the holiday. The Passover seder is for the most part held on the first and second night of Passover, though some only participate in a seder on the first night. During the seder participants recount the story of the Exodus while drinking four cups of wine.
What foods are traditionally eaten on Passover?
The most common food eaten on Passover is Matzah, a cracker-like replacement for bread. During the Seder other unique foods are eaten, like haroset, a mixture of apples, nuts, wine, and spices. For the duration of the holiday, all leavened foods are prohibited.
Passover for Families
Have young kids? Check out these links from Kveller.com for making the holiday fun for the entire family.
Songkran (สงกรานต์) is the traditional Thai New Year water festival which starts on April 13 every year. It is a national holiday in Thailand.
The festival lasts for 4 days. Maha Songkran Day is the first day of the celebrations which marks the end of the old year. April 14, Wan Nao is the day between the ending of the old year and the beginning of the New Year when foods are prepared for the temples. The third day of Songkran, April 15, is Wan Thaloeng Sok – the day on which the New Year begins and on the last day, Wan Parg-bpee, the ancestors and elders are honored.
Happy Songkran everyone!
Read more about this special holiday at http://www.chiff.com/home_life/holiday/thai-songkran.htm
On Saturday, April 2nd the Long Island Clusters of Au Pair in America went to NYC to see the new Broadway show “Baby It’s You!” The show is in previews and officially opens April 27th. We all loved the show which featured songs made famous by the Shirelles.
BABY IT’S YOU! is the original Broadway musical inspired by the true story of Florence Greenberg, a suburban housewife from New Jersey, who discovered one of the greatest girl groups of all time, The Shirelles, and created Scepter Records, becoming the music industry’s first female powerhouse.