Easter-less Egg Hunt
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    Default Easter-less Egg Hunt

    http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/...3.21797f6.html

    Cities promote Easter-less egg hunts as 'inclusive'

    09:51 PM PDT on Friday, April 22, 2011

    By JOHN F. HILL
    The Press-Enterprise
    Hundreds of kids in Murrieta today will dive over one another for plastic eggs and have their pictures taken with a person in a rabbit suit, but there will be no official mention of Easter.

    Same goes for today's egg hunt in Lake Elsinore, and last week's in Riverside -- where "Peter Rabbit" was said to have decorated the fields with candy and eggs.

    The events have all the trappings of American Easter celebrations -- the pastel-colored eggs, the candy and the large white rabbit -- but are called "Spring Egg Hunt" or "EGGstravaganza."

    A news release from Murrieta's Community Services Department invited kids to come have their pictures taken with "the bunny."

    The city employees who put on the events say they try to keep Easter out of the equation to make the events appealing to Christians and non-Christians. Others argue it's a little absurd to organize a hunt for plastic eggs and pretend it's not about Easter.

    Easter is a Christian holiday marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ, days after his crucifixion.

    Recreation Coordinator Laura Frasso, who oversees Murrieta's egg hunt, said the city was trying to be as inclusive as possible.

    "It's hard -- There's a very fine line with the whole church-and-state thing," Frasso said, "and we're just trying to make sure that everybody knows they're welcome."

    Secular holidays

    Murrieta dropped references to Easter and other holidays for its events in the mid-90s, when public schools started to do the same with their holiday celebrations, Community Services Manager Debbie Tharp said. Atheist families had sued some public schools over the celebration of religious holidays in school around that time, she said.

    So the Halloween Carnival was re-christened the Fall Festival. A month of events in December is now called "Holiday Magic" -- though the celebration does include Santa Claus.

    The issue is not new. In Lake Elsinore, the annual egg hunt is associated with the Children's Fair, an event that focuses on the care and education of kids.

    Maureen Foster-Davis, the city's recreation supervisor, said the event always coincided with Easter, but had been called the Spring Egg Hunt for at least 20 years.

    Heidi Dodd, a Lake Elsinore resident who is Christian and has two sons, 8 and 15, said she wasn't bothered by the secular nature of the event.

    She was glad the city was trying to do something for all kids, not just the Christian ones.

    "To me ... this isn't Easter Mass, this is a spring celebration -- a way to bring the community together," Dodd said.

    Riverside's city-sponsored celebrations, held at six public parks last weekend, avoided use of the word Easter in notices advertising the events. A separate egg hunt put on by the Riverside Downtown Partnership was called the "Downtown Riverside Easter Egg-stravaganza."

    Riverside wanted to keep the event non-religious so people other than Christians could enjoy it, city spokeswoman Cindie Perry said.

    "It's just more of an inclusive statement," she said. "We wouldn't want to exclude anybody from the fun."

    politically correct?

    There has been some pushback against the trend.

    In Temecula, the city a few years ago made it official policy to drop the generic Spring Egg Hunt and call their event the Easter Egg Hunt, said Dawn Adamiak, senior recreation coordinator.

    Temecula Councilwoman Maryann Edwards said the term Spring Egg Hunt was "political correctness run amok."

    "Let's call it what it is," she said. "It's not a snake egg hunt and it's not a chicken egg hunt, they're called Easter eggs, aren't they? Just like they're called Christmas trees, not winter trees."

    She said kids of all religions were welcome to participate, and pointed to Temecula's annual Menorah-lighting ceremony as another religious event the city took part in.

    A few Christians have called Murrieta to complain about the lack of Easter in their egg hunt, Frasso said.

    Murrieta Councilman Douglas McAllister, a former Christian pastor, said avoiding the word Easter didn't make much sense. It's obvious to anyone who attends the celebration that it's is about the Christian holiday, he said.

    He said removing Easter diminished the holiday's importance, something he didn't want to do to any religious event.

    "I wouldn't want to water down Ramadan, I wouldn't want to water down Hanukkah and I wouldn't want to water down Easter," McAllister said.

    Though McAllister wishes the city would use the word Easter, he said there were more important things to be worried about. When the councilman goes to the city's event today, he knows what's going on.

    "I don't go to the Eggstravaganza," he said. "I go to the Easter egg hunt."

    Reach John F. Hill at 951-375-3738 or johnhill@PE.com
    What do you think about this? Is it really being "inclusive" or just insulting?

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    Posting Addict culturedmom's Avatar
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    I don't think it is insulting. There is nothing Jesus-y about rabbits and candy and spending money. But I think it is stupid. I don't celebrate Easter. But I wouldn't automatically start just because you take Jesus and the religion out of it. Christmas has become so secular, but it still is a Christian holiday even if one chooses not to acknowledge it that way. I feel the same about Easter.
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    Doesn't bother me at all. Commercial Easter really is pretty stupid when you think about it.

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    A lot of military bases are doing the same thing. I don't think it's insulting. A lot of the traditions and celebrations we have as Christians were taken from other religions so I think it's silly to get up in arms over the name being changed. I used to feel differently, but as I get older, I realize some things are going to be less how I want them and more about trying to include other people. Even though it's even more silly for the people throwing it and attending it to pretend like the Spring Egg Hunt and Winter Holiday aren't more about celebrating a religious aspect than a secular one.

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    The thing about this that's weird to me is that the whole Easter bunny, egg hunt, candy thing has nothing to do with the religious aspect of the holiday. That's purely secular. If they were handing out candy crosses or something, maybe I could see the problem. There is no other holiday (that I know of) around the same time and the character's name is The Easter Bunny and the eggs are Easter eggs. There are tons of people who celebrate the secular aspect of Easter and don't give a hoot about the religious part, just like there are tons of people who celebrate the secular aspect of Christmas and don't give a hoot about the religious part. If there were other holidays that were getting ignored and this was a bid to try to represent everyone in that way, I would understand it, I think. "Winter" celebrations (as opposed to communities focusing only on Christmas) make sense to me. Our country is increasingly diverse and there are many holidays that are celebrated in December. What other holidays are they trying to be inclusive of around Easter?
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    Stupid.
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    It doesn't really bother me because Eggs and bunnies have nothing to do with the real meaning of Easter. On the other hand it kind of silly too because no matter how much they remove the word Easter from everything people are still going to call it an Easter egg hunt and the Easter bunny.
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    Quote Originally Posted by b525 View Post
    The thing about this that's weird to me is that the whole Easter bunny, egg hunt, candy thing has nothing to do with the religious aspect of the holiday. That's purely secular. If they were handing out candy crosses or something, maybe I could see the problem. There is no other holiday (that I know of) around the same time and the character's name is The Easter Bunny and the eggs are Easter eggs. There are tons of people who celebrate the secular aspect of Easter and don't give a hoot about the religious part, just like there are tons of people who celebrate the secular aspect of Christmas and don't give a hoot about the religious part. If there were other holidays that were getting ignored and this was a bid to try to represent everyone in that way, I would understand it, I think. "Winter" celebrations (as opposed to communities focusing only on Christmas) make sense to me. Our country is increasingly diverse and there are many holidays that are celebrated in December. What other holidays are they trying to be inclusive of around Easter?
    The things that are considered "Easter traditions" are actually very old traditions from hundreds of years before Christ. The Spring Equinox is celebrated by many non-religious people like myself who follow the turn of the seasons. Purim is in the springtime, it's considered the most festive of the Jewish holidays with costumes & noisemakers. Those who follow Pagan religions celebrate Ostara & Beltane in March & May, respectively. Just because you've never heard of a holiday doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    The things that are considered "Easter traditions" are actually very old traditions from hundreds of years before Christ. The Spring Equinox is celebrated by many non-religious people like myself who follow the turn of the seasons. Purim is in the springtime, it's considered the most festive of the Jewish holidays with costumes & noisemakers. Those who follow Pagan religions celebrate Ostara & Beltane in March & May, respectively. Just because you've never heard of a holiday doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
    Spring Equinox is in March. Purim is in February or March. Like you said, the Pagan holidays are in March or May. Easter is nearly always in April. So, I stand by what I said:

    ""Winter" celebrations (as opposed to communities focusing only on Christmas) make sense to me. Our country is increasingly diverse and there are many holidays that are celebrated in December."

    I don't think holidays that are celebrated in another month should necessarily be included as one big happy party, you know? Generally, St. Patrick's Day isn't included in "Spring" festivities and it's a March holiday.

    So, yeah, I have heard of them. It's just that my point was that, unlike all the December holidays, they're not concurrent with Easter.
    Becky

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    Quote Originally Posted by b525 View Post
    Spring Equinox is in March. Purim is in February or March. Like you said, the Pagan holidays are in March or May. Easter is nearly always in April. So, I stand by what I said:

    ""Winter" celebrations (as opposed to communities focusing only on Christmas) make sense to me. Our country is increasingly diverse and there are many holidays that are celebrated in December."

    I don't think holidays that are celebrated in another month should necessarily be included as one big happy party, you know? Generally, St. Patrick's Day isn't included in "Spring" festivities and it's a March holiday.

    So, yeah, I have heard of them. It's just that my point was that, unlike all the December holidays, they're not concurrent with Easter.
    They are some years. Easter moves so can come close to other holidays. Many years it is in March. Beltane is May 1st so this year it is a week after Easter.
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