The Spring Holidays are a perfect time for sharing and celebrating, as well as for learning and inspiring positive change.
Kimberly and Ian Wilder, the team behind Peace Couple, share interesting holidays. One of us is from a Jewish tradition, and the other is from a Christian tradition. Both of us resonate with Buddhism, and ancient, earth-based celebrations of the seasons.
Both Easter and Passover are Spring Holidays that celebrate renewal. Passover also celebrates Freedom.
We made a list in order to share some ideas and links for inserting peace and nonviolence into the Spring holidays.
10 Ways to foster peace for Easter and Passover
1. Put a tomato on your Seder plate.
“A tomato on the Seder plate this year, next year an end to slavery in the fields”
Story at Coalition of Immokale Workers: here.
2. Eat more plant-based foods. Use less meat and animal products.
Besides the values reasons for vegetarianism, plant-based foods use less of the world’s resources than meat does, so a plant-based diet helps prevent hunger and slows global warming.
Think about if there are already some vegetarian or vegan dishes in your family’s tradition. Grandma Carole served a Depression Era recipe for chopped liver which uses green beans, oil, and eggs, instead of meat.
Link to Vegetarian Seders: here
Link to PETA’s “Vegan Passover Recipes”: here
Link to Vegetarian and Vegan recipes at About.com: here.
3. Don’t talk politics at the dinner table.
Use the time to discuss family subjects, and foster bonding with family and friends.
4. Talk politics at the dinner table.
These are interesting times we live in. The United States is waging wars for oil and empire overseas. Our very freedom is at stake with a legislative decision about NDAA, including that American citizens can now be indefinitely detained by the military. A new Supreme Court decision means you (or your mother, or your wife, or your teenager) can now be Strip Searched merely for a traffic ticket). If you don’t want to cause indigestion at the dinner table, you could float some of these important topics after dinner.
5. Buy toys for children that are expressive and cooperative. Don’t buy military toys or toy guns.
Link to WRL/War Resisters League info on War Toys: here.
Links for children’s toys (which resonate with kind shopping values):
6. Give gifts with the absolute least impact — recycled from your home or hand-made by you.
Link to our Kind Shopping page which explains the “Least Impact Zone” for consumers: here.
The book “Your Money Or Your Life” explains the absolute joy of hanging on to your own money.
7. Give gifts that are Fair Trade, union made, or locally produced. See our Kind Shopping Action Mandala, with categories for compassionate shopping: here.
8. Find a Haggadah (book used during the dinner to tell the story of the Passover) which celebrates peace and the long tradition of the Jewish people identifying with oppressed and enslaved people. There are many versions of the Haggadah to choose from. The search for a Haggadah which affirms your values is a worthwhile search.
Jewish Voice for Peace Haggadah (pdf)
San Diego Women’s Haggadah
9. Celebrate Tolerance.
Be open to the views of your family or friends who may celebrate different religions or no religion at all.
10. Invite a guest to dinner. It is a Jewish tradition to invite people to Passover, to share the story of Passover. People of all faiths or no faiths might borrow this idea to invite people over when there is holiday bounty to share.
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