WEST CALDWELL, NJ — Of the Easter and Passover holidays celebrated all over the world, Erin Moss, director of The Orchard School (TOS) in West Caldwell, said that both holidays "provide another opportunity to discuss the special traditions associated with each occasion and how these two festivals are connected.”
TOS, located at 360 Passaic Avenue, recognizes the significance of both holidays and guides students through activities that will help them understand the meaning of both.
Easter Sunday is observed on the first Sunday after the spring equinox—the halfway point between winter and spring. Passover is celebrated during the full moon after the spring equinox. This moon is called "the paschal or spring time moon."
According to TOS, many are surprised to learn that Easter and Passover are related through the "paschal moon." Some people celebrate Easter; some people observe Passover; and some people choose not to celebrate either. These are among some of the teachings presented to OTS students.
Passover commemorates the liberation of Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. Its date is a fixed one on the Hebrew calendar, but neither Easter nor Passover has a fixed date on the secular calendars.
The two holidays fluctuate between March and April, both under this "paschal or spring time" moon. For those who wonder why both Easter and Passover fall on different dates every year: it is because both holidays are linked to this moon.
Another thing Easter and Passover have in common is that they embrace history and hope. Nature and re-birth emphasize a fresh start for both, which is why so many—including TOS students—enjoy the celebrations of these holidays.
In celebration of the Easter holiday, TOS children dyed eggs and participated in egg hunts. Both are traditional activities for many.
Eggs, often colorfully decorated for the Easter holiday, are known as "the ultimate symbol of fertility and new life." As part of these celebrations, the Easter Bunny delivers brightly colored baskets filled with eggs, jelly beans and chocolates to children everywhere.
During Passover, the children ate chocolate-covered matzoh and other yummy chocolate matzoh candies.
The unleavened bread used during Passover, known as matzoh, represents the urgency with which the Israelites had to flee Egypt to get to freedom. Reports indicate that there was no time for the bread they were baking to rise.
All photos are courtesy of The Orchard School, which also provided the information above using the following sources: