The Campus Activities Board organized a joint celebration of Easter and Passover for students to enjoy on April 5 in the University Mall.
“The goal was basically to bring both Easter and Passover to campus,” Ashley Cole, CAB’s multicultural chair, said.
“Because both holidays are on the weekend this year, I just wanted to bring awareness and help students celebrate them.”
Although Easter has become synonymous with bunnies, candy and egg hunting over the years, it is fundamentally a Christian holiday meant to rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
It also marks the end of Lent, which is a 40-day event of fasting and spiritual discipline for Christians and Catholics.
Easter is known as a “movable feast,” meaning that it does not fall on a fixed date every year.
It takes place on the first Sunday after the full moon which follows the vernal equinox.
Over time, it has become more of a family-oriented holiday in which children hunt for eggs and receive candy, and Christian families attend special church services.
“It’s a big family holiday for me,” Alina Sturgis, a freshman liberal studies major, said. “My family gets together, and we go to church. It’s a very happy holiday.”
While Easter is only celebrated for one day, Passover lasts for seven or eight. However, the holidays usually occur during the same time.
Passover is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the Israelites’ escape from Egypt, known as the Exodus.
The holiday begins on the 15th day of Nisan, which is a month in the Hebrew calendar.
“We decided to celebrate both of them, because Passover is, in a way, related to Easter,” Cole said.
University Chaplain Zandra Wagoner was at the event to give a blessing in commemoration of the two holidays, which included a brief explanation of why they are celebrated and what they represent.
“May each of us experience the birth of hope and possibilities,” Wagoner said at the conclusion of her blessing.
Students gathered outside to enjoy free food from Davenport and Christian worship music that played from speakers.
Some of the food served at the event included salad, rice and honey-baked ham, which is a traditional Easter dish for many families.
Both Sturgis and freshman political science major Yvette Carrillo commented on the high quality of the food, and the fact that there was Christian music playing instead of the usual Top 40 hits.
Though it is not a typical occurrence featured at CAB events, the worship music seemed to be a hit with many of the students.
“We decided to play that music, because there are a lot of Christians on campus, and Easter is mainly a Christian holiday,” Cole said.
CAB’s main goal for this event was to not only celebrate Easter and Passover, but to make students aware of both the holidays’ meaning and history.
Although they honor two different events in religious history, Easter and Passover both ultimately represent the spirit of hope and new beginnings, which is something that people of all religions can relate to in some way.
Danielle Navarro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.