During Christ's time, people wore sandals and had to walk many miles each day on dusty road. It was courtesy and respect for a servant to wash the feet of guests when they arrived. Jesus washed the feet of all his disciples the night before he was crucified. This gesture was to show his disciples that he was their servant and he respected them. It was also to show them that in order to be good leaders, they must show respect to their followers and be willing to serve.

Kings and Lords during medieval times followed Jesus' example. They did this by washing the feet of twelve of the poorest men in their kingdom on the Thursday before Easter. In England, it was custom for kings and queens to wash the feet of as many poor people as they were in years old. This custom is still practiced by Queen Elizabeth today.


The making of an Easter tree is an old custom in Germany, Holland and some other European countries. They brought this custom to the United States when they came. Days before Easter, these Europeans would bring in bare branches and put them in a pot filled with earth. The children will then decorate them with decorated empty eggs. They did this by emptying the eggs, dyed them and then used ribbons to tie and hang them on the bare branches. The bare branches symbolize death while the eggs are a symbol of life.


Easter egg hunt is common all over the world. Eggs are hidden by adults and the children hunts and collects them. The one with the most eggs is the winner.


This custom was started in Europe a long time ago. Contestants rolled their eggs on gentle slopes toward the finish line at the bottom of the hill. The first unbroken egg over the line is the winner. An annual egg roll was started in the United States during President Andrew Johnson's period. The White House south lawn now is the site of the Easter Monday Egg Roll. Many children participate in this yearly event.

Read more about the Easter Egg Roll in the White House
History of the White House Easter Egg Roll

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Dated: March 20, 2000