Malden Hops, Skips and Jumps in Easter

A family capturing their moment with the Easter Bunny. Photo submitted by Neal Anderson.

Every year, millions of people around the world celebrate Easter in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Christ. With that said, due to the holiday's modern commercial essence, Easter is now celebrated by those who are not religious and is considered a commercial event with its present-day aspects.

Religiously, the Resurrection of Christ, as described in the New Testament of the Bible, is primarily the foundation upon which the Christian religion is built off of. And so, Easter is an essential date in the Christian calendar that falls on a different date each year.

Like other holidays, Easter has become commercialized, enabling many businesses to profit from the holiday. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers have spent a total of $18.2 billion in the year of 2018 which was close to the record of $18.4 billion in 2017.

With the commercialization, many are able to observe the holiday in different ways, whether it is religious or non-religious. In Malden, various events were held in respect for Easter by celebrating the modern day traditions in those gatherings.  

One of the events was the Ward 7 Annual Easter Bunny Ride which was held a week before Easter. As the Bunny Ride trailered through the neighborhood with the guidance of the Malden Police, families were able to spend some time with the well-known bunny and take photos to capture the special moment, along with being given a few treats.

The event first started about 10 years ago and has been since organized by the Ward 7 Association, a number of volunteers who assist with the events, and Ward 7 Councillor Neal Anderson.

Anderson stated that “[The Bunny Ride] requires a great deal of effort in decorating the float, organizing the volunteers, raising money to cover the costs and assuring that everyone is safe.” He explained that he believes this is “a fun filled neighborhood event that allows children and adults to participate in this childhood fantasy.”

In addition to hosting events, the Bread of Life also made its part in celebrating Easter by holding their Annual Easter Dinner at the First Baptist Church on April 21st, welcoming those who attended with a free home-cooked meal, some of which were made possible by donors such as Hoff’s Bakery.

At the dinner, attendees were able to have meals that included ham, turkey, vegetables, scalloped potatoes, specialty desserts and drinks.  

Of the attendees, Mayor Gary Christenson also made an appearance at the well-attended Easter Dinner. Mayor Christenson stated that “the Bread of Life is a vital resource in our community for those who are homeless or struggling to make ends meet.”

He continued on saying that “on occasions such as a holiday, they provide not only a meal but also a place for people to go so that they are not alone. It reminds us that we are all in this together.”

Likewise, the Malden Troop 603 held their Annual Easter Flower Sale on April 20th, at the First Baptist Church as well. The flower sale was held specifically at the front lawn of the church and has been a recurring tradition for the Troop for many years.

The sale is a modest fundraiser where the funds are used for the Troop’s active camping and outdoor activities program. And since the Malden Troop 603 has been chartered by the First Baptist Church from 1910 and so forth, the group also provides them with flowers for Easter.

The Troop’s Scoutmaster, Matt Burne, mentioned that the reason why they sell flowers is due to how “spring is a time of renewal” and “flowers are always a beautiful way to celebrate the arrival of spring.”

Burne expressed that “[they] enjoy providing Easter flowers for the congregation of the First Baptist Church.” He feels that the Troop are also “happy to engage with community, providing beautiful spring flower at this time of year.”

With the many events that were held, citizens of Malden, such as Senior Birukti Tsige, have commemorated the holiday differently within their own communities by celebrating Orthodox Easter.

Orthodox Easter is essentially Easter but falls on a different date as many Orthodox Churches base their Easter date on the Julian calendar which differs from the Gregorian calendar.

For Tsige, she explained that in her church community, they have liturgy and church service on Saturday night and into Sunday morning. Specifically from 8pm to 4am. On Sunday morning, they would break their fast and all eat together, having all types of dishes. And the week before that, there would be service in the afternoon where praying and penance would occur every day during that week.

Furthermore, Tsige emphasizes that “Easter is such an amazing holiday for us to celebrate because it brings our community together and strengthens our faith.”

Ultimately adding on to that thought, Mayor Christenson believes that “[Easter] is another opportunity for us to learn from each other whether you celebrate this religious holiday or not.” He further explained that “[Easter] also gives us a chance to stop for a minute in between the fast-paced world we live in to come together and celebrate each other here in the Malden community.”

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