Easter is almost here! While spring is a time for fresh new beginnings, Easter can be a time for observing old traditions. To help you get to know yourGreenrock family a little better, we are beginning something new. It’s an ongoing series about the community of people behind Greenrock. We spoke with members of the Greenrock family to get some insight into their personal Easter traditions. We learned about what Easter means to them, how they celebrate, and their favourite Easter foods. We wanted to learn about what they love most this time of year.
We spoke with Gloria Mogavero, CEO of Greenrock Real Estate Advisors. Gloria is Ukrainian Catholic. For Gloria and her family, Easter is an important religious time. Gloria observes Ukrainian Easter, which she noted, “does not usually fall on the same day as the ‘Canadian’ Easter, as the Ukrainians follow the Gregorian calendar and not the Julian”.
Ukrainian Catholic Easter is a solemn time of sacrifice that begins with Lent and ends with Good Friday and the celebration on Easter Sunday. The traditional Easter Sunday celebration includes preparing an Easter basket with food items that each have a symbolic religious significance. In Gloria’s words:
Each Easter basket is blessed and must contain Paska (braided Easter bread), baked ham, Kobasa (sausage), beets and horseradish, salt, butter, cheese and hard boiled eggs. The basket is usually covered with a cloth embroidered by a family member. The blessed food must be shared with each family member on Easter Sunday. Eggs are also decorated and placed in the basket and on the table. We do not always prepare a basket but we still partake of all the traditional food including a staple, perogies. It has been written that as generations pass, cultural traditions are lost but it is the food that carries on. This is a time when I treasure the memories of my heritage.
Traditions evolve as time and generations pass. What remains constant is getting together with loved ones and sharing traditional food. Food has a wonderful way of connecting us to our past and to each other.
For Fred Roper, Building Operator at Greenrock’s Post Media Place, religious traditions play no part in his family’s Easter celebration. Fred’s family has gotten a little smaller over the years, with the loss of loved ones, but that only makes them closer. Fred tell us; “our family takes the time to appreciate having one another. We all take the time to discuss the great times with relatives [and] even our pets.” Dogs are very special in the Roper family. They are considered full family members. As Fred puts it; “they are very important to us, they are a very special link. They bring family and friends together.” Fred’s family typically gathers over Easter and shares some traditional Easter food. For Fred, his “favorite dishes at Easter are turkey with turkey gravy and mashed potatoes” which are made by his brother in-law. He’s also a big fan of the desserts his sister makes, like her brownie cheesecake swirl loaf.
Sometimes Fred will bring over the antique radios that he likes to restore. His favourite is an RCA from 1949 that plays old 45 records. We think that says it all. Traditions are all about taking the old and making it new again, using yesterday to connect us to each other, today.
Easter is a special time of year, even for those who don’t have any secular or religious traditions. It can simply be a celebration of Spring and a chance to enjoy quality time at home. For Crystal Rawding, Property Manager at Greenrock’s Village Green, Easter is:
A new beginning filled with warmer weather, bright colours and renewed energy. Having a reason to spend quality time with family and friends is also always welcome.
Crystal’s family is not religious, and her family doesn’t have any traditional Easter routine, but she cherishes her Easter memories:
One of my most special memories is my Mom dressing us (kids) all up in our Easter attire, including the bonnet. I’m sure it was not as special for my brother, who also begrudgingly wore a new hat and had to put his favourite baseball cap away for the entire day.
However you choose to spend your time this Easter, your Greenrock family wishes you and your family a happy holiday, full of old traditions and new beginnings. For information on Greenrock Communities, please visit our website.