Celebrating Eastern and Passover: Honouring Our Two Faiths


In our house, we celebrate both Easter and Passover because we believe that is important to share with our children our traditions and faiths. It's not that we are super religious; it's more a question of sharing our values, culture and traditions. My husband is Jewish and I am Catholic, and we both respect and honour our respective faiths, but also the one of the other person.

This year, Passover begins on the evening of Friday (April 3) at nightfall and ends after nightfall on the evening of Saturday, April 11. This means that this year Passover and Easter overlap significantly. In particular, Good Friday and the beginning of Passover are on the same day. 

In my Hispanic-Catholic tradition, Good Friday is one of the most important days of the Holy Week or the Easter Holiday. Ever since I was a child, Good Friday was a day to remember Jesus and to be grateful of all the good things that we have or have received in our life, including family, friends, health and love. Personally, Good Friday has always been a day where I have always tried to let peace control my heart and my actions.

Among all the different things that I remember from Easter, one dominates my  memories of this beautiful Holiday. I have never eaten red meat on Good Friday! Yes, I have always had fish, especially a particular Spanish-style fish stew based on salted cod (Bacalao a la Vizcaina). I still remember how much I disliked the dish when I was really young, but I guess as I got older, I learned to appreciate it. Today, I can say that I love the dish. I never eat this dish at other times of the year, I just want to eat it for Good Friday. 

In the Jewish Passover tradition, there are two seders or special services. The word "seder" apparently means "order." It is called this because the service for Passover is done in a certain order, telling the story of the Jewish people from slavery to freedom. In a seder, there are 15 parts, all revolving around the upcoming Passover dinner. So, food is also an important symbolic element of Passover.  

This year, the first seder will begin on Friday night (Shabbat) and the second seder will be after Shabbat on Saturday night (April 4). This is great because it give us, the opportunity to consecrate a special night to each one of our two faiths. On Friday, April 3, we will celebrate Good Friday and on Saturday, April 4, we will have a seder. We will follow our own traditions for each one of the Holidays and we will share these traditions with our children and some friends.

Celebrating Passover and Easter will also give us the chance to relax and spend time together.



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