As students began hip-hopping home for Easter break, we asked them about the celebrations and family rituals they'll be enjoying this spring.
Caroline Combs, a student from Indianapolis in the Master of Physician Assistance program, said that her family has an Easter egg hunt every year. Since they all love sports — especially the Flyers — they will often hide event tickets inside the eggs. “We have a big lunch right after Mass — then our Easter egg hunt is right after that,” she said. And then the rest of the day is family time.
Easter at his home church in Guayama, Puerto Rico, is always celebrated through activities, food and fun that bring the entire community together, said Eduardo Bonilla, a sophomore business administration major. Even though he will stay on campus this week, Bonilla said he plans to create his own enjoyable Easter break: “Go to church, maybe ride a bike or do something energetic.” He said he hopes to invite his friends who are also staying to do the same.
Anna Biesecker-Mast, a discover arts major from Dayton, enjoys playing in a string ensemble on Easter Sunday. Her church choir joins the musicians for an annual performance of the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Biesecker-Mast has not played the violin in over a year, so she said she is looking forward to performing again. “Our church is very music-oriented, so it really exemplifies one of the core values of our church.”
Emily Settembrini, a freshman pre-dentistry major from Detroit, Michigan, chuckled discussing one of her family’s traditions. Every year they have to search for their Easter baskets. “The older you get, the harder it is,” she said. She enjoys the routine of waking up, finding eggs and, of course, searching for her basket. Settembrini and her family also have a special breakfast on Easter morning.
An annual Easter egg hunt was the tradition for Carmen Braccio, a senior sciences major for Buffalo, New York, when she was little. Now that she’s older, Braccio said that she has an Easter dinner at home with her family: “We like to spend time together.”
Awantika Badole, a graduate student studying computer science, described multiple holidays that she and her family celebrate back home in India. One of her favorites, Gudi Padwa, is her region’s New Year’s festival and falls around Easter each year. She enjoys special foods, including sweet treats like puran poli and laduu. She shared fond memories of the holiday, saying, “Family comes together. That’s the best thing.” While in Dayton, she was able to attend a service at the Hindu temple and celebrate with her friends.
Annie Durant, a premed major from Dublin, Ohio, talked about the nostalgia of the traditions that have continued even as she and her siblings have gotten older. Her family still decorates Easter eggs and has an Easter egg hunt. Durant’s family also has an annual Sunday morning brunch. “It’s a good time for our families to bond because everyone is in college now,” she said. “It’s something that everyone comes home for. We can reconnect.”
Damon Alexander, a sophomore discover science major from Dayton, said that his family’s tradition is to gather together and watch films over Easter break. “We like to watch movies,” he said. “That’s one of our big things.” While he practices Taoism and his family is Baptist, “We still find ways to interconnect the two to make Easter fun and meaningful,” he said.
Nicole VanVoorhis, an environmental geology major from Dayton, enjoys getting away over Easter. She and her family visit her relatives in Michigan. There they enjoy spending time with one another, eating a big meal, and enjoying the spring weather. VanVoorhis said, “Easter is like what brings our family back together after a long winter. It makes us realize, ‘Oh, it’s nice outside.’ We should appreciate all the stuff that winter pushes down.”