Every December during Advent, I see a chorus of reminders from other Catholics:
“Don’t forget Christmas is a season, not just one day! Christmas starts December 25, not December 1! Advent is for preparation!”
And then after Christmas Day, “It’s still Christmas!”
That’s all absolutely true, but somehow Easter doesn’t seem to get the same treatment.
Just about every Catholic parish in my area holds egg hunts and Easter Bunny Breakfasts during Lent. It seems like everyone is ready to pack up the eggs and bunnies on Easter Monday.
But let’s not forget that Easter is also a season, not just one day. In fact, as the greatest feast of the year, Easter should be an even longer and more jubilant time than the Christmas season!
The week after Easter is known as the Easter Octave.
Starting from at least the 3rd or 4th century, Christians began to extend certain feasts beyond the initial day. This meant that the joyous celebrations of Easter Sunday were prolonged and lasted a full eight days. In fact, Christians treated each day in the octave as if it were Easter Sunday.
With all this in mind, I was absolutely thrilled to receive an invitation to a friend’s Easter egg hunt this week. The egg hunt wasn’t going to take place during Lent or even on Easter Sunday, but the weekend after Easter. What a delightful idea, and a refreshing change!
It’s so much more fun to keep celebrating Easter the weekend after Easter Sunday, instead of trying to cram all the fun into one day or starting the partying during Lent.
This is also a great way to include extended family or the broader community in your Easter celebrations. I bet your friends will be so happy to get the invitation, just as I was!
So this is my gentle suggestion to you this Easter season: Plan an egg hunt for the weekend after Easter. Or dye eggs, or give Easter gifts, or enjoy whatever it is you love most about Easter. I’d wager a bet that holding an egg hunt the weekend after Easter Sunday will quickly become your new favorite family tradition!
As they say, Easter is a season, not just one day. Let’s make the most of it and continue to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection in the days and weeks after Easter Sunday. And in that way, let’s share the abundance of our Easter joy with the world.