Easter is such a beautiful holiday, but here in the US, it does not get even close to the vast recognition that Christmas is showered with.
My family and I feel very lucky to be familiar with, and able to practice the Ukrainian Easter traditions. Besides the 40 days of the Great Lent, and the different church services from Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday, there is the traditional Easter Basket Blessing,which takes place at the church on Holy Saturday, or right after the Sunrise Easter Sunday Liturgy, in other parishes.
The Easter Basket of special foods (described below) is arranged on Holy Saturday, and taken to church, where a special blessing ceremony with prayers and sprinkling with Holy Water, is performed by the parish priest.
Easter is one of my favorite holidays, because of its rich traditions. One of these is the blessing of a basket of special foods which becomes the Easter Sunday brunch, being the first meat meal, after a strict fast on Good Friday and Saturday. One of the special foods in that basket is a round shaped Easter Bread, called Paska in Ukrainian, or Babka in Polish. The top of this bread is elaborately decorated with fancy dough ornaments, having a cross as the central motif. Here is my family Paska recipe, which makes two large loaves, or several small ones.
Spring is a very popular season for baby showers, but his time I attended a Baby Sprinkle Party.
Baby showers are usually hosted for the First Born child, since the new parents are starting from scratch, and get overwhelmed by how many different things this little person will need almost immediately after its arrival.
In the past Baby Shower was the only time the new parents were showered with substantial baby gifts. However nowadays the second born, especially if it’s of a different gender, also is lucky to receive some smaller gifts through a Baby Sprinkle party.