AS we know, today is Easter Sunday and so, I would like to talk about how we can best experience this day, one that gives the opportunity for fun traditions or simply promotes much-needed rest and relaxation.
Many of us are happy simply because lent is now over and therefore we can return to our vices. Although, if they were unhealthy, I hope you have realised the benefits of not practising and continue to abstain from them.
First, a little bit about today.
Easter is a Christian holiday and festival that celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is the most celebrated of holidays. It began as a Pagan holiday that was adopted by Christians.
My research shows that the holiday was named after the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre whose sacred symbols were thought to have been the hare and the egg. Hence- why Easter Eggs are a thing.
Christians used to recognise the resurrection of Christ every Sunday until it was decided that a full, annual day will not only be acknowledged but celebrated.
Easter Sunday specifically is the day that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus- the day he rose from the dead, three days after his crucifixion and burial. It is the last day of what is known as ‘Holy Week’ which encompasses Maundy Monday, which commemorates the Maundy and the Last Supper and Good Friday, the day of Jesus’s burial.
Easter Sunday, the day he resurrected, is the oldest and most important day in the Christian calendar.
For those who aren’t so religious, Easter simply marks a long weekend, filled with fun (hopefully).
Today both Christians and non-Christians celebrate with more modern and fun traditions involving family, friends, kites, chocolate, cross buns, Easter eggs and even an Easter bunny.
Traditionally, during Holy Week, eggs were not allowed and any eggs which were laid were saved and decorated as ‘Holy week” eggs which were then given to children on Easter Sunday. Future generations have thankfully evolved these into chocolate eggs.
Also, why a bunny rabbit for Easter? Rabbits have traditionally been viewed as a symbol of new life because they usually birth large litters of babies which legend believes they often hid. This idea is believed to have originated in Germany during the middle ages as the first-ever seen written piece on the Easter bunny was dated back to the 16th century, Germany.
It is then believed that Dutch settlers in Pennsylvania brought the bunny ritual to the United States in the 1700s and the tradition spread on from there. Hence, today an Easter egg bunny has left treats for you to find in an Easter egg hunt. The traditional act of painting eggs is called Pysanka and the eggs were traditionally painted red to signify the body of Christ and his victory over death.
The official flower of Easter is the white lily (Easter lilies) as it represents grace and purity.
Like many other religious holidays, the dates of Easter and Holy Week change, based on different group beliefs and the moon.
I apologise if I’m the only one who finds these facts interesting.
So what to do today other than eating chocolate and cross buns?
Well there is the traditional Easter egg hunt and kite-flying
Easter egg hunts can work for children and adults. The child version is hiding candy in a safe environment, keeping them quiet and busy searching for them while you as the parent/guardian can either enjoy the peace and quiet or equally share in their excitement. The adult version can be more of a scavenger hunt – around the neighbourhood or even around the whole town. Invite some people and make it a neighbourhood event, socially distancing all the while of course.
Want to bring out your or your child’s creative side? Try egg decorations. I used to do this all the time as a child. My mom would drill small holes into eggs, make us breakfast and then put the empty eggshells in the fridge for a while. The hole was just big enough for us to stick our finger in which meant we could easily hold, turn and paint around it. We also used these and any other Easter creations to make Easter hats out of plain straw hats.
While kite-flying did not originate in Guyana, it did as an Easter tradition. Did you guys know that? That Guyana made kite-flying during Easter a thing? We did – no other country typically flies kites during the Easter holiday.
I also always thought an interesting thing to do on holidays was plant a tree, especially on one which signifies resurrection and life. It’s a great tradition as while it’s good for the environment, it’s great for strengthening relationships and creating memories.
Basically, any healthy quality time can do this and no better day than today for some family bonding. Regardless of your religion, today is a day for the appreciation of life, hope and family time.
I hope you make the most of it.
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