While we are all still in the midst of our social distancing practices, many will be celebrating this weekend. Easter and Passover mark a special religious moment in the year for Jews and Christians, and harken the arrival of spring with prayer, food and acts of charity.
Here are some of our tips, resources and ideas for celebrating with family and friends while social distancing.
- Give Back
Make a donation to your favorite charity or organization that is giving back to the community. Here are a couple of local groups providing meals and assistance to healthcare workers, unemployed service industry workers, musicians and more.
- Gather Virtually
Schedule a Zoom meeting with your friends and family and have a virtual Seder or Easter dinner. Many local churches and synagogues are holding virtual mass, church services, worship and Seder and more via livestream.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans has created a web listing of online prayer and mass services across the parish.
OneTable.org is a national non-profit organization that provides a way to connect with others via virtual Seder and Sabbat dinners.
Be sure to check with your own place of worship for more information, details and times.
- Baskets of fun
Now that you might have a little extra time on your hands, why not try natural egg dyes with items from your fridge or pantry. Scraps of red or yellow onion skins, beets or spices are an easy way to create color in a fresh and fun way. You can check out tips from craft queen Martha Stewart, or cook up a batch of pretty pickled eggs from Epicurious.
With social distancing the norm, and a weather forecast for rain, families may want to opt for a new kind of egg hunt. From hiding plastic, candy-filled eggs around the home to using technology to include friends and family in on the fun, get creative with the celebration. Here are more tips from holiday hosting expert Martha Stewart on how to incorporate a new egg hunt tradition.
For an easy and inexpensive Easter basket gift (and a bonus craft project to keep kids or adults occupied), pick up or order packs of crayons, markers or watercolors and print out free selections from local artists Ellen Macomber, Sarah Clostio and Ashley Longshore. Mail out your creations to welcome spring and spread the love after the holiday has passed.
Bunnies, baby chicks and furry lambs always provide cute fun for all. Create your own virtual petting zoo with the help of YouTube. You can watch a live bunny cam, baby chicks chirping and cuddle online with a little lamb. Do your own search and see what cute critters you can find.
- Cook it up
From a full family meal at home to planning Seder meals with friends online, Easter and Passover both involve a feast of food and recipes.
Try a homemade matzo recipe and share your own Seder recipes with friends. Temple Sinai is holding a virtual Matzah Brei Brunch, with a recipe exchange and community connection. For something a little different, try this homemade matzo recipe from the New York Times.
Planning a Sunday feast for the family? Check out our classic Easter menu for inspiration and information from soup to nuts, er, dessert.
Don’t feel like cooking? Many of our favorite restaurants are still cooking and creating special family meals to share. We have a list of local restaurants that will put together a take-out feast for you, and you can feel good about supporting our local chefs and cooks.
- Raise a glass
Keep the celebration flowing with your favorite chilled rosé, Prosecco or Cava, and strawberry lemonade for the kids and those that do not imbibe.
Or mix up a cocktail! Put on your favorite local music, make this refreshing festival-season cocktail for the adults in your family and dream about the days when we will all be enjoying live jams at French Quarter Fest and Jazz Fest.
How are you celebrating during this unique time? Share with us your recipes, ideas, tips and stories.