Sunday, April 1, 2012

Easter in Washington DC

Easter isn't usually a holiday with many public events, unlike Christmas and New Year's Eve. However in Washington, this holiday is celebrated in style.

The White House Easter Egg Roll is a family event that is held annually in front of the iconic White House. The tradition is a longstanding one, beginning in 1878 when President Rutherford B. Hayes welcomed children onto the White House lawn to roll eggs on easter monday. Subsequent presidents carried on the tradition and it remains to this day. The South Lawn is opened to children 12 and under and their families, and a variety of activities are available.These include the famous White House Easter Egg Roll, storytelling, a visit with the Easter Bunny, sports, cooking classes and live music. It is a treat for the kids, a chance for the public to see a friendly side of the imposing White House, and an american cultural tradition. It is now held on Easter Sunday and is, of course, at the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Understandably, security is tight and everything will be screened- no food or beverages can be taken in.

Restaurants are busy over easter weekend in DC, with many putting on a special Easter Brunch. Keep a look out for specials- many places will put on an all-you-can-eat type special in honour of the holiday. The Washington Zoo gets into the spirit of things to, with an African-american themed celebration. Easter games and live African music are put on to be enjoyed by visitors, as well as special talks and feedings for the animals.

The christian heritage of Easter need not be ignored or forgotten- Washington is an historical city and has several beautiful churches. For a real easter experience, attend a service in one of these amazing buildings. Try the Washington National Cathedral on Wisconsin Ave NW, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in the Catholic University complex on Michigan Ave, St Matthew's Cathedral near the city centre on Rhode Island Ave NW or St. John's Church on H Street NE.

 Washington National Cathedral
by Shubert Ciencia Flickr Creative Commons

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