In the USA, Easter is usually less pensive than in many European countries. Most of the traditions, though, are very similar. Every year on Easter Monday the president invites children and parents to the White House Easter Egg Roll.
Egg rolling is a European tradition that is still celebrated in some countries today. On Easter Sunday, children would roll an egg down a slope or move it across the grass with a large spoon. The rolling egg symbolizes the stone that was before the Jesus’s tomb when the women came to visit him the next morning. The tradition was brought over by British settlers and is still celebrated by many American families.
The First Lady Dolly Madison, wife of US President James Madison organized the first White House Easter Egg Roll in 1814 and ever since almost all US presidents have hosted Easter Egg games with boiled eggs. The event was hosted at first on a hill at the US Capitol until 1876 when the “Turf Protection Law” was passed. This law was introduced to protect the grass from being destroyed by children searching for eggs. Since then, the Easter Egg Roll takes place on the lawn of the White House.
Every year children under the age of 12 and their parents are invited to partake in the traditional White House Easter Egg roll. On this day, children search for hidden Easter eggs and other organized family activities including lunch and music. A giant Easter bunny has also been making an appearance at this joyful event since Richard Nixon (1969-1974) was in office. Tickets for this event are free, but they must be won in an online lottery. Thanks to Barack Obama, all children and parents can attend, even those who are in a same-sex marriage.
In times of turmoil, the tradition was not always practiced, like during the American Civil War. The tradition was also not celebrated during World War II which was followed by renovations of the White House. It was celebrated again after a long time in 1953 when Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961) organized the Easter Egg Roll once again. A whole generation of children during the war and renovations missed out on Easter because it was so-to-say cancelled during this time.
The United States are famous for their parades and Easter Sunday is celebrated with large parades in various cities. Since 1880, the New York Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue has been a tradition in New York City. The origins of this parade are not known, but many believe the tradition started because people always wore their best clothes for Easter Sunday mass. After mass, everyone would go for a walk to show off their new clothes.
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