Easter Celebration in America

What is Easter? Easter is a popular holiday here in the United States. It is a day to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. But, many Americans think of Easter as a day for children to look for eggs the Easter bunny hides. This Easter celebration has been part of American culture for many years. The meaning of this holiday continues to change over time.

According to Christian belief, Easter originated back in 30 A.D. This date is when Jesus Christ resurrected three days after his crucifixion. Christian religion considers Jesus Christ its savior. However, over the years, many Americans have taken to celebrating this day. They do not even have to be religious. Nowadays, it is simply part of American tradition. When Americans think of Easter, they automatically think of the Easter bunny and decorating eggs.

Traditional Easter Game

An Easter Egg Hunt is a traditional game played in many American homes. Adults hide eggs around the house, backyard, or at a park. Then, children try to find them. These eggs can be real eggs or plastic ones filled with candy or money.

You might begin to wonder, “how are bunnies and eggs religious?” Historians do not know the exact origin. Nevertheless, historians think this American tradition began when the Germans first immigrated to the United States; bunnies and eggs became a symbol for birth and renewal.

Poly’s Easter Celebration

Students celebrate American Tradition by decorating Easter eggs.
Students Decorating Easter Eggs

Now, enough about the fun facts of Easter. Today, POLY Languages Institute at Pasadena celebrated their own Easter. Our student lounge was filled with fun and colorful decorations of Easter bunnies, eggs, and baskets. It was great to see international students join in our Easter celebration for the first time.

We had stations where some of our students had the opportunity to decorate hard boiled eggs. Teachers showed students how to dye the hard-boiled eggs with multiple colors and put designs on them. The final products looked so beautiful. Therefore, they didn’t even want to eat them! Also, our students participated in the traditional children’s egg hunt. Administrators hid plastic eggs filled with candy throughout the school. The students had a good time with their baskets searching for eggs in each classroom, hallway, and even the front desk!

The students had a fun-filled time. They were able to take a break from their studies to experience an American tradition. Here at POLY, we do not only strive to academically help our students. We also want our students to gain a deeper understanding of American culture and have an overall great experience here in Southern California!

Spring Idioms ESL Students Need to Know

The start of spring in the United States signifies an increase in daylight. For example, there is warmer weather, flowers blossoming and positive energy. Spring is also the time to reflect, make changes and spring (move) forward. Read some of our favorite spring idioms below.

“spring fever”

Definition: a feeling of excitement because you know springtime is coming and the weather is getting warmer

Example: Jane had a very cold, and lonely winter in New York. Once April began, she was filled with spring fever because the sun was shinning and her family was coming to visit her.

“putting all (my/ your/ their) eggs in one basket”

Definition: Putting all of one’s energy or resources in one thing. This could be seen as negative because you might lose it all if it does not work out.

Example: Joe and Jane went to watch the horse races. Joe bet on one race and put all his money on hopes that a horse called Lucky Charms would place first. Jane bet on a few different outcomes because she did not want to put all her eggs in one basket.

“the grass is/ isn’t  (always) greener on the other side”

Definition: when a person looks at someone else’s situation and thinks it is better than their own. However, they do not see the negative aspects of a situation because they only have a partial view.

Example: John is very wealthy and has a very nice family. Joe wishes his life was more like John’s because of it. At the same time, he always reminds himself that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

“a spring in (my/ your/ their) step”

Definition: when someone walks with a happy and positive energy

Example: Did you see Joe today? Joe is walking with a spring in his step. I heard he won the lottery!

Springtime weather

“a stick in the mud”

Definition: a person who may often be seen as boring or unadventurous

Example: Sometimes Karen is such a stick in the mud. She said no when I invited her to go to Los Angeles to explore downtown Los Angeles. She said she didn’t have plans, but refused to go to LA because she would have to sit in the car for longer than twenty minutes.

“black sheep (of the family)”

Definition: a person who stands out as an odd and is sometimes the outcast

Example: John’s relatives value following the rules and they are often very serious. John is very different. He likes to tell jokes and play pranks on his siblings. He gets in trouble often and is seen as the black sheep of the family.

“spring cleaning”

Definition: to thoroughly clean a place, more specifically, during springtime

Example: Jane was tired of her old, dusty furniture. She decided to do some spring cleaning: threw all her old furniture away and bought shiny, new furniture.

If you want to learn more about spring idioms or other common phrases and idioms used in the United States, we would love to have you join our ESL program. A classroom is the best place to learn about American culture, language, conversation strategies, and grammar.

March Idioms

Although St. Patrick was the Patron Saint of Ireland, on the 17th of March, people from all over the United States have lots of parties and parades to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. On this day, those of Irish descent,  or simply those with Irish pride, celebrate Ireland’s heritage on t-shirts that might say: “Kiss me, I’m Irish” or “Luck of the Irish,” bars sell green beer, and lots of people wear green and luck charms, such as shamrocks.


Here are some common expressions having to do with LUCK:

beginner’s luck – when a new or inexperienced person has a great success; meaning it was luck rather than skill.
Example: -“Wow, he made that shot on his first professional game ever!”
– “It was just beginner’s luck.”

you’re in luck – used to describe a good situation for another person.
Example: “You’re in luck, this was the last pair in your size and in this color!”

better luck next time –  used after minor failures when someone attempts something but can’t
Example: “Dude, she beat me at that new video game!”
“Oh, well. Better luck next time!”

just my luck – used sarcastically to say something was very unlucky.
Example: “I skipped school to go to the beach, and just my luck: it rained all day!”

pushing your luck – to try to extend the good luck or a good situation you’ve had and risk having a negative result or losing what you have so far.
Example: “ I was chosen out of the twenty who applied for the position so I accepted with the
starting salary they offered me because I thought asking for a higher starting salary would be
pushing my luck.”

the luck of the draw – the result of chance and you have no control over
Example: “Sometimes you have to wait for hours to see a doctor in the emergency room, other times you can see a doctor in 20 minutes. It’s just the luck of the draw.” 

try your luck – try to accomplish something even though you know you may not succeed
Example: “He is going to try his luck at Las Vegas casino.” 




Emotive Or Apathetic

As humans our emotions have surely evolved. From the time that we were lawless barbarians to the fair, just and humane civilians we call ourselves today. In general, we humans are conditioned from childhood to care for one another and also for other species as well. Parents and educators teach kids to respect wildlife, to not pick flowers, to love animals and always help peers and friends. As we grow into adulthood, so does our interest in others. We express empathy and kindness and do our best to reach out and help. Caring and morality has come to denote our civility.

But the sense of empathy and emotion are not widespread across the globe. when I look at the world, I feel emotions and kindness are analogous to a sense of comfort and wealth. In countries in which the majority of the population have a moderate net worth and have a greater level of education, tend to have greater emotional interest in the welfare of others. It’s evident that those struggling wouldn’t have the means or the interest in others. Families with meager income or those in developing countries are burdened with their own daily responsibilities and survival and unable to express the same level of empathy and care. However, the level of wealth doesn’t necessarily commensurate with emotion. There’s a point at which higher wealth leads to a sense of indifference and disconnect. The affluent become contemptuous and isolated from everyone else. They live, work, shop, dine and spend their time in manicured places where everyone’s desires are taken care of and there’s no exposure to anyone in need.  Anecdotally the wealthy, just as much as the impoverished, have the least sense of empathy and interest in others. In that sense, the affluent are quite like the insolvent in looking the other way in the face of need.

In the past few decades, the world has seen a decline in the number of middle class population. The rich, have certainly become much richer and the poor have equally become poorer and the middle class is being squeezed thin. Where then, does that leave us in our quest for emotion? If the rich and the poor alike are so engaged in their own lives to care about anyone else, our sense of empathy is being compromised. I wonder if it will survive and if not, will we become the inhumane, barbarians that we once were?

Susan Massoudnia