Easter is wonderful time to teach our children about our Middle Eastern culture and history. By incorporating some of our favorite customs from growing up in the Middle East, we can help our kids understand the significance of these celebrations and make lasting memories together.
Activity 1: Decorate eggs with natural dyes
Egg coloring is a cherished Easter tradition around the world, and in the Middle East, we've been using natural ingredients from our surroundings to dye eggs for centuries. These natural dyes are not only environmentally friendly but also an essential part of our cultural heritage. Involve your children in the egg-dyeing process using natural ingredients. Here are some common ones:
- Onion skins for a beautiful reddish-brown hue.
- Turmeric for bright yellow.
- Beetroot for a deep red.
- Hibiscus flowers for a bright pink color.
- Saffron threads to create a stunning golden-yellow color.
Activity 2: 'Tae'sh' طقش - play the egg-tapping game!
This game is popular across the Levant region (Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Egypt) and it's a great way to engage the whole family in Easter festivities.
How to play 'Tae'sh'?
In the game, two people tap their eggs against each other, trying to crack the other person's egg while keeping their own intact. The last person with an uncracked egg wins.
Activity 3: Celebrate Holy Week at home
Light candles, recite prayers together, and create your own palm branch and procession. Holy Week processions are an important part of Easter traditions in the Middle East, and by incorporating it into family celebrations, we can pass on this valuable tradition to our kids.
Activity 4: Cook traditional dishes togetherCooking together is a great bonding experience. Some of our favorites growing up included a roasted lamb or Warak Dawali (Stuffed grape leaves). For dessert make Ma'amoul, a delicious and traditional Arab cookie associated with Easter. Show your kids how to shape the dough into small balls and use a special mold to create intricate designs. Let them take turns filling the cookies with a sweet date paste or chopped nuts.
These activities are just a few examples of how you can incorporate our Middle Eastern culture with Easter celebrations for your young ones. By sharing these traditions with our kids, we can help keep our heritage alive and create memories that they will cherish for years to come.
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The Rumaneh Team