Australia, as far as I know is the only country that takes a holiday for Good Friday.
Is Easter all about Chocolate? (according to my daughter, yes)
With the year like a steam train, we have just spent a small fortune on celebrating the Christian way of the Birth of Christ only to see foil wrapped eggs situated on every corner for the last 2 months on shopping centre shelves to now mourn the death of Jesus.
Not only am I worried about the amount of chocolate and sugar that is consumed leaving me with children that are going to have tantrums, possible gorge themselves on this sweet and vomit. I also have the task of trying to explain what Easter is to a 4 year old. I have my own beliefs that I do not stress onto others, but one thing I will do is expose my children to as many faiths as possible and let themselves lead them to their own spirituality. I will be here to help explain, but I find it hard and gruesome to tell the story of Easter about the death of Christ, it is enough to give me nightmares.
I have chosen a festive way of showing new life.
This is from my children's mentor Meron at Melbourne Rudolf Steiner School, showing a different angle.
The celebration of festivals are nourishing and strengthening for our lives. Festivals are like a colourful ribbon that weave us together, a birthday, a wedding, the candle in the dark mid-Winter, a favourite song at Christmas. They call us to lift our spirits,,,, to be artistic,,, to seek meaning in the passage of the seasons, the movements of the heavens, these great and mysterious forces that accompany our lives.
You may have already have a strong Easter tradition; you may wish to renew aspects that you love and discard others. You possibly have no relationship with Easter other than Easter Eggs and feel uncomfortable with the whole thing!
It can be helpful to approach this time as an opportunity to contemplate the powerful themes that arise at Easter. Children need not yet hear of the more somber aspects of Easter, for they are so naturally aligned with what is arisen. Their attention can be directed to the heavens, to new life sprouting in wheat, to the empty Easter nest or basket, this is wonderful anticipation of the future! So don't be daunted - begin simply, create the right mood, build a festival, and feel the experience deepen in you all as the years roll by!
What our family is doing, is putting a wheat seeds in a pot and over the week we will see the wheat grow and flourish and eventually die, but on Easter morning we are going to leave Easter Eggs to represent new life. Maybe not as daunting as explaining how someone had to carry a huge cross to the place of his death being booed and strung up to die.