Easter in Australia

We're coming up to the Easter holiday.

The whole concept is rather absurd in Australia.

Easter started as a celebration of new life in the northern hemisphere as Spring unfolds, but here the days are getting shorter and the nights are cooler as we move into autumn.

Yani, pictured above with an echidna we found after school, has been asking why we eat chocolate rabbits and eggs (the shops are full of them) He asks why at school they wear funny decorated hats and have 'Easter Parades". He doesn't really mind because he rather likes celebration of any kind, but he still wonders why. Then there is the added detail of the story of this great man, Jesus, who was tortured and killed and came back to life a long time ago and we should remember him...

So I try to explain and ask my kids to repeat after me the main points (in case they are ever asked):

* Easter started thousands of years ago in Europe to celebrate the return of the sun in Spring, that's why they focus on rabbits and eggs - symbols of fertility.

* The leaders of the Christian religion realised (during the Roman reign 440AD) that it would be better to have their celebrations around the same time as the original pagan ones, so they decided these would be good days to mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ (which is also explains the reason for having 'Christmas' in the winter solstice). No-one can really remember the actual dates of Jesus' birth and death since it happened so many years ago and the Bible was written a long time after his death.

So what will we do on Easter? Well, my Mother has sent the kids a parcel (she comes from a strong European tradition) which we will open with great excitement and we'll boil some egss to paint (because our eggs taste good and we love painting), but mostly we will go surfing and horseriding - celebrating every day in its miraculous wonder!

1 comment:

wordless unused said...

Hi Anja, a beautiful blog, love it. don't forget to send us more
-rivka and wavey.