“Traditions, traditions. Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as… as… as a fiddler on the roof.” — Fiddler on the Roof
Traditions. My Passover challenge, combined with Catholic Holy Week got me thinking about traditions. Something I’ve always participated in, but never truly appreciated until today.
Every Good Friday, for as long as I remember, the ladies of my family gathered a my grandmother’s house to prepare the Easter bread. While the adults worked in he kitchen, the children would occupy ourselves in the most creative way. Between re-enacting scenes from The Wizard of Oz, to putting on dance shows, to playing Greek rummy, Good Friday was a good time.
Even better than the play time was the lunch time. As soon as the first bach came out of the oven, we’d squeeze around the tiny table and devour the bread. We’d smear it with butter, top it with tuna (a Lent approved protein), or pair it with shungatta, a special Italian cheese.
The fun times and fabulous foods continued until Easter Sunday. The morning begins with an AMAZING brunch. Think fritata, fresh fruits, cookies, coffee cake, and of corse loaves of bread. In the evening, we hold the must cut-throat and competitive Easter Egg Hunt. I’ve never seen five girls care so much about finding candy-filled eggs.
Sadly, I won’t be able to participate in any of these traditions this year. School work has kept me in Syracuse for the Holy Week. For the first time in 21 years, I have to miss out on my favorite holiday. But at least I have always had the option to go home. I only imagine how much it must suck for the Jewish students who can’t take a whole week off to go home and celebrate Passover.
To make up for missing out on biological family time, college students start their own traditions with the friends who make up their campus family. Tonight, for instance, my friend invited me to her Seder supper. I know this meal won’t make up for the Good Friday bread baking session, but it makes me realize that you can find family wherever you go.
It also makes me greatful for my real family and the traditions we’ve developed. I can’t wait to pass down this importance to my children.