These mostly free Easter events include Christian church services, community Easter egg hunts, family photo-ops with the Easter Bunny, and other spring time events happening all over the Puget Sound region leading up to Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019.
Christian Easter Traditions
While Christianity has many forms (Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant), all Christian faiths have a fundamental belief in Jesus Christ as the son of God. As the event that defines Christianity, Easter is the most important holiday in the Christian liturgical calendar.
The Christian view is that Jesus came to earth to save humankind from eternal damnation by atoning for our sins through his passion–his suffering and death on the cross. His resurrection three days later on Easter Sunday as recorded in the bible proved to his believers He was the Messiah, the King and Savior of the Jews.
It is interesting to note that many Jews and Muslims also believe in Jesus Christ, though do not believe he was the Messiah. As a Catholic, I’m not at all offended by the differing beliefs of my Jewish or Muslim friends. What matters most is that we respect and love each other–as God commanded us to “love our neighbor as ourselves”, also known as the greatest commandment. He said it often enough: Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31, and Luke 10:27. You’d think we’d have figured it out by now.
But I digress. Back to Easter and then on to the whole bunny thing.
In many (but not all) Christian religions, Easter is preceded by Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, repentance, charity, and prayer to prepare for the coming of the Messiah.
Holy Week begins one week before Easter Sunday on Palm Sunday–when Jesus is said to have entered Jerusalem triumphantly (only to be tried and sentenced to death five days later). Lent ends a few days later on Thursday.
Also known as Maundy* Thursday, it’s the day Jesus shared his Last Supper with his twelve apostles. Christ’s Last Supper was used as the basis for the first “Eucharist” or “Holy Communion”, which many Christians, and Catholics especially, observe every Sunday of the year to commemorate Christ’s sacrifice and our gift of salvation. *”Maundy” refers to the ceremony of washing the feet of the poor. In this context, it commemorates Jesus’ washing His disciples’ feet at the Last Supper.
Then begins the Holy Triduum, the three day period from Friday to Sunday. Jesus is hung to death on a cross on Good Friday (also referred to as Holy Friday) and rises from the dead three days later on Easter Sunday.
Even though Easter is a Christian holy day, it has also become a spring holiday celebrated by non-Christians around the world.
Selected Easter Church Services
Besides regular Sunday service, some Christian churches offer an Easter Vigil service on Saturday night, sunrise service on Easter Sunday morning, and additional programs on Good Friday, as well as services and prayers throughout Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.
(Listed roughly north to south around the region)
- Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2531 Hoyt Avenue, Everett
- Lifepoint Church, 14619 28th St NE, Lake Stevens
- Gateway Fellowship, 18901 8th Ave NE, Poulsbo
- St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, 1245 10th AVE E, Seattle
- St James Catholic Cathedral, 804 Ninth Avenue, Seattle
- Mount Zion Baptist Church, 1634 19th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
- Washington Cathedral, 12300 Woodinville Redmond Rd NE, Redmond
- Blue Sky Church, 1720 130th Ave NE, Bellevue
- Champions Center – Bellevue, 2649 Landerholm Circle Se Bellevue
- Highlands Community Church, 3031 NE 10th St, Renton
- Highland Community Church at Kentridge High School, 12430 SE 208th St. Kent
- Champions Center – Tacoma, 1819 East 72nd Street, Tacoma
- Life Center (4 locations), Tacoma
As a secular holiday, Easter is celebrated with parades, Easter baskets with gifts and goodies, photos with a costumed “Easter Bunny”, “egg hunts” (with hard-cooked or candy/chocolate eggs), plus other spring celebrations and lavish meals.
Many families celebrate Easter with a special buffet brunch, a lavish lunch, or a festive family dinner. Some traditional foods include roast ham and lamb, spring vegetables (peas, carrots, asparagus), cabbage salads, egg and potato dishes, and cheesecake, plus cakes, pastries and special breads such as hot cross buns.
But there are many, many cultural variations. Some food customs are said to be holdovers from the Jewish Passover Seder and other celebrations were founded on farming communities spring planting events, pagan fertility rituals, or other traditions around the world.
Like Christmas, which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ yet is replete with many non-Christian symbols (such as Santa Claus, lighted trees, and singing Christmas Carols), Easter has morphed into a holiday with many non-religious elements.
Some of the key events for the season are listed below, especially those that are free or reasonably priced.
Easter Bunny Photos
Check our list of places to get a portrait shot with E.B. Most are paid professional photos setups at malls and other locations. But a few are selfie ops with E.B. hopping around the region. We update the list as new sightings come in.
Community Easter Egg Hunts
Check our calendar for Easter egg hunts throughout the Puget Sound region. All happen rain or shine. Most are free. Check the details such as parking, start times for different age groups, and whether you need to bring a basket (always safe to keep a bag in the car…just in case).
Easter brunch and dinner restaurants
Our list of suggested Easter brunch or dinner restaurants include popular spots with modest prices.
Below are listed secular Easter-themed events, such as spring bazaars, festivals, fairs, and “flings” in the days and weeks approaching Easter Sunday. If you are looking for Easter events, here’s where to find Easter egg hunts, Easter Bunny photos ops, and Easter parades.
(If nothing is listed below, there are no upcoming Easter-related events in our calendar. We usually update Easter events about 30 days before Easter Sunday, since many organizers don’t announce events for the current year until closer to the holiday.)