Noah Webster describes Easter as “an annual Christian festival in the spring, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.” Though a solemn religious holiday preceded by forty days of Lent and a Holy Week, it would evolve into a day that is celebrated not just with religious services, but also with Easter bunnies and Easter baskets.
Easter Sunday traditions have long included dying eggs, the wearing of new clothes, baking hot cross buns and attending sunrise and church services. The story of the Easter Bunny became common in the nineteenth century as a symbol of new life. Legend has it that the Easter Bunny lays, decorates and hides eggs. Others brought traditions from Europe. Germans believed, for example, that rabbits laid beautifully colored eggs on Easter. All the while, the chocolate bunnies and eggs serve as a reminder of Easter's ancient origins and Christian traditions.
In Easter Traditions in Boston, Anthony Sammarco revisits the long-held traditions of decorating Easter eggs, decorating an Egg Tree, choosing an Easter bonnet, children's Easter egg hunts, and attending Easter Services before joining the O’Neils and the Houghtons, who annually participated in matching Easter outfits in the Easter Parade on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall in Boston’s Back Bay.
Bostonians have a shared tradition of this very special holiday and though it was ignored by the Puritans we can fondly remember in this book how our parents and grandparents celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Anthony M. Sammarco is a noted historian and author of over seventy books on the history and development of Boston, and he lectures widely on the history of his native city. His books Lost Boston, The History of Howard Johnson's: How A Massachusetts Soda Fountain Became a Roadside Icon, Christmas Traditions in Boston, and The Baker Chocolate Company: A Sweet History have been bestsellers.