Lent: More than Preamble to Bonnets and Bunnies and Baskets
For adult observers, the Christian season of Lent is often a time of quiet contemplation. For kids, however, Lent seems little more than preamble to Easterâ€™s bonnets and bunnies and baskets.
[img_assist|fid=3100|thumb=0|alt=Lenten Grass]To help children observe Lent, consider adopting the old Finnish custom of planting grass seed in small dishes on Ash Wednesday. (In 2007, Ash Wednesday falls on February 21.)
For children, it is fun to plant and carefully tend the seeds. Soon delicate blades burst forth from the earth, stretching toward the light. With good care, the grass will grow thick and strong and lush, symbolizing the resurrection and the certainty of spring.
Here's a photo essay adapted from my Kitchen Parade food column, how to mark the Lenten Season with Lenten Grass. It's easy, it's fun! Consider starting several trays and giving them to family and friends.
A Note About Dates: Yes, it's traditional to plant Lenten grass on Ash Wednesday and to eat pancakes (see below) on the Tuesday before, Shrove Tuesday. But when my sister's kids were little and she juggled holiday custody with their father, we simply decided, "Okay, this year the 22nd will be our Christmas Eve and the 23rd our Christmas Day." We are similarly lax about New Year's Eve and have been known to set the clocks ahead by two or three hours some time on December 31st. Then we just proceed to celebrate without regard to calendar or clock ... it works. So if you don't pick up grass seed til running errands on Saturday? Not to worry!