NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - This year's Easter holiday religious services, family gatherings and traditions were held with a twist, as residents continue to follow social distancing guidelines meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.
While it puts a damper on Easter traditions like morning Mass, community egg hunts and a big meal with family -- parishes and families found ways to keep traditions alive through online mass, virtual Zoom and Facetime gatherings, and family egg hunts.
One of the biggest traditions of the season had to be brushed aside this spring when the New Providence Lions Club Annual Easter Egg Hunt was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a tradition that is 51 years young. -- The Lions would go to the Paca Club the Wednesday before the hunt to cook and dye the eggs. Yes, the Lions Club Annual Egg Hunt uses real hard-boiled eggs. "The egg dying night is a fun party night -- and then, the morning of the hunt, we get together and everybody has a job," said Lion member Patricia Jacobs. It's a big job to hide that many eggs, she said.
"We have all these routines and all these rituals that have been honed over 50 years. And it's really fun," said Jacobs. "I thought of my friends that I usually see at the Easter Egg Hunt that have little kids." That's when the thought hit her -- she and her husband could hide eggs for a family she has seen at the annual event over the years.
The big Lions Club Annual Egg Hunt may have been canceled, but many families continued the tradition, but with a twist.