Easter Traditions: Southern Style

2016An old fashioned Easter is deeply embedded in the culture of many southern Christian families. Easter is the most holy of Christian holidays, a symbol of new beginnings, and a time to socialize with family and friends.  

The way this holiday is celebrated holds a great deal of importance to southerners- tradition and beliefs are integral parts. Before church, children find Easter baskets filled with goodies carefully curated by the Easter Bunny- chocolate bunnies or eggs, plastic eggs filled with jelly beans and the occasional dollar, a small stuffed animal, stickers, sidewalk chalk, and maybe a new movie. The highlight of Easter is time spent at church. A popular tradition is known as the “flowering of the Easter cross”.  It’s a custom where each worshiper is invited to place a fresh flower upon the cross at the altar and to have a moment of reflection and reverence for the meaning of the day.  Eventually, the cross is completely covered in beautiful blooms- a symbol of sacrifice transforms into something beautiful and new in celebration of the religious significance of Easter.

After attending church, families- donning new dresses and suits- gather around tables set with stoneware plates (possibly Louisville Stoneware) filled with ham drizzled with a brown sugar glaze, dark green turnip greens soaked in a rich pork stock, creamy potatoes whipped to perfection, and, of course, deviled eggs- simply egg yolks, mayonnaise (Duke’s, always Duke’s), mustard, and a sprinkle of paprika. After Easter dinner, bellies are full. And spirits soar. Maybe it’s the promise of warmer days and happy memories yet to be made or perhaps it’s a renewal of Christian faith. Children, baskets in hand, dash to the yard in search of the Easter eggs they helped dye the night before. Now days, there are kits that make it easy to glitter and glitz your eggs but egg dying used to be an art form that took hours or a few days to complete. Eggs decorated in celebration of rebirth peek from beneath bright yellow forsythia bushes and behind daffodils and crocus flowers. Moms and dads chase behind their little ones in hopes of capturing a precious picture for their scrapbook.

This year Easter is on Sunday, March 27th. If you are in Highlands or Cashiers on Easter weekend, there are several ways that your family can celebrate.  



S’more Kids Klothes Easter Egg Hunt 11 a.m. Saturday, March 26th

Community Easter Sunrise Service 7 a.m. Sunday, March 27 at the Gazebo and lawn


Easter Egg Hunt 11 a.m. Saturday, March 26th

How does your family celebrate Easter? What is your favorite tradition?