Easter is a predominantly religious festival, celebrated worldwide in many different ways. Possibly a lesser known fact: Easter is also a pagan festival celebrating the end of winter and the advent of new life with the onset of spring. Here in Australia, Easter is a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of the last of the warmer weather, spending time with friends and family and maybe partaking in the traditional Easter egg or Bilby hunt.
The Easter egg, representing fertility, life and rebirth is recognised in many countries as an Easter symbol. The tradition of decorating eggs as an Easter gift is common and the origin of the now, very popular, chocolate egg. In Russia and Hungary, wax designs are drawn on eggs which are then dipped in ink. Successive layers of wax and ink result in stunningly decorated eggs. Poland sees eggs dyed naturally, using ingredients like bark, beetroot or onions or adorned with scraps of brightly coloured paper or wool. In America, the annual Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawns is so popular that tickets are only available by lottery.
Not all traditions involve eggs. Scandinavian children dress as old women or witches to visit neighbours collecting treats, a tradition with origins in mythology and stories of trolls and witches that traversed the country over the Easter period in days gone by. In Germany, families decorate their Easter tree then gather around the Easter fire, both customs heralding the return of spring. Other Easter traditions include hurling earthenware pots from windows on Corfu, making way for new pots to collect the forthcoming harvest, while in France, one town meets in their town square to share a 4,500 egg omelette.
Whatever your traditions, MiniJumbuk wish you a safe and happy Easter and don't forget Daylight Savings ends Easter Sunday, April 1 at 2am.