The idea behind KiKi & Tea was to provide a space for people to write, to read, to engage. To present a variety of opinions from different cultural backgrounds, different religions (including non-religious) and different ideas. With that in mind, we asked our readers to tell us what Easter means to them. We were overwhelmed by the response so decided to do a 2 part series of What Easter Means To Me.
Here are some of the stories we received:
Maree is a 31 yr old high school teacher. She is a tomboy who is passionate about music, her faith in God and her family. Maree is Aussie born, to a Macedonian father and a New Zealander mother. She enjoys reading, writing, painting, photography and going to gigs, as well as collecting sneakers, costume/vintage jewellery and hospital wristbands. Maree is passionate about helping her students read and write, and wants them to be the best version of themselves possible. She has gypsy blood in her veins and is too sentimental for her own good. Maree can be found blogging at: MadMaz@Tumblr or tweeting at MadMaz80 on twitter.
Easter is a time of celebration in my home and to a greater extent, within my culture. Obviously it is a time to acknowledge the life and death of Jesus Christ and His gift to us. For me personally, Easter can be explained in one simple word: Family.
Although I’m an Australian, my heritage is half Macedonian, which I am fiercely proud of. I relish keeping traditions in place and have many happy memories from my childhood, which evoke a deep sense of nostalgia.
There are two traditions that stand out the most, which we still use.
There is a delicious pastry dish called ‘Muznik’ which is layered with leeks and feta cheese. It is large and round, roughly the size of a pizza. It is cut into thick slices. Somewhere in that Muznik, there is a small coin, brought over from the ‘old country’. It is cooked into the dish. If your slice of Muznik has the coin in it, you will be blessed with good fortune for the following year.
Suffice to say, we eat in a competitive manner, all hoping we get the coin.
We also dye hard boiled eggs with red food colouring. We are all given an egg, as we sit around the table and must tap the top of our egg on the top of the person who is sitting next to us. If your eggshell cracks- you’re out. The last egg standing wins, and again that person is believed to have good luck.
My Macedonian grandparents are long gone from this world, as are the older Aunties and Uncles who helped make Easter such a treat. However, my mother (who is a New Zealander) has gone to great lengths over the years to cook authentic Macedonian food and keep the traditions in place. She sweats it out in the kitchen, creating dishes that she watched her mother-in-law cook.
My mother understands that to my family, Easter is a time to relive the memories of our past, but to also make new ones. We remember family members who we loved and cherished. Each year, our table gets smaller, as another person leaves this world.
To me, Easter is about family. It’s about keeping traditions alive. About remembering those we have loved and lost. And ultimately, about remembering that although I was born in Australia, a part of me is Macedonian, and that will never change.
Bek is a Christian single mum and a lover of books, fatshion, computer games, social media and all things vintage. She loves watching Doctor Who and most things sci-fi and fantasy.
Easter is an important event for our little family of myself and my two little boys. I’m a Christian, and for Christians Easter is a big deal. Easter is when Jesus voluntarily died on a cross, and then rose again, showing everyone that he was indeed the Messiah that he had claimed to be. If it wasn’t for the Easter event, Christianity wouldn’t make any sense.
We take part in the mainstream celebrations of Easter- we make Easter baskets out of empty margarine containers, we have an Easter egg hunt, we enjoy chocolate and I explain that bunnies don’t lay eggs even though Easter bunnies seem to bring chocolate ones where ever they go. We also read bible stories together, watch child-appropriate you tube clips of the Easter story, and I try to answer Mr 7’s questions “Why did Jesus have to die? Did he die for everyone? Even robbers?” For us Easter is a time of remembering Jesus’ love for us and the sacrifice he made, as well as enjoying the chocolate eggs.
Michelle grew up writing short stories, drawing things and creating imaginary universes with her collection of figurines. She’s grown out of most of those things. She’s now married and works as an allied health professional in the public health system. Michelle blogs occasionally at Hummingbird’s Rest and you can find her on twitter @shelietweets.
Growing up, Easter meant one thing: my birthday. As an April baby, the arrival of chocolate bunnies and eggs in the shops was a sure sign that pretty soon it would be my birthday. Sure, I could see on the calendar that the date was getting closer, but the sudden discovery of chocolate eggs at the check out always made it seem more real. I would also check the calendar each year to see whether my birthday actually fell before or after the Easter weekend – and to see when the school holidays fell. An April birthday also meant that for many years, my friends would all be away on a holiday and unable to attend a birthday party (and that hasn’t changed much as I’ve grown up!) But the Easter chocolate always helped make up for the lack of friends to party with.
Unfortunately, just as Christmas decorations keep getting put out earlier and earlier in the year, so Easter chocolates keep appearing earlier. There is barely a gap now between Christmas things getting removed and Easter chocolate getting put out. So where I could once get excited by seeing some eggs, knowing that within weeks I would be celebrating my birthday, now it feels like a cruel joke. Chocolate bunny? Birthday not for another three months. What a tease, supermarkets!
As an adult and a Christian, Easter now means far more to me than simply chocolate and my birthday. But every January, when I see the first bag of mini eggs or a Lindt bunny, I still have to stifle the excited thought that my birthday is coming up. And I’m sure I’ll be doing that in another 20 years. If we still eat chocolate eggs then.
Tree is your typical geek, with an interest in almost anything from cartoons and comics to science and education. Tree’s particular passion is Gender Studies, owing partly to her own life-journey as a genderqueer person. Tree enjoys making people feel welcome, which is why the world of geekdom and youth work has lured her in.
Easter is an amalgamation of many many holidays for me, as a Unitarian. The word Easter derives from Eostre- what we call Ostara, the pagan Spring festival/Sabbat (which is at the other end of the year in North Hemisphere). This time of year is Mabon- the autumn equinox. The downunder “Halloween” occurs soon.
It’s also the Christian Easter- commemorating Christ’s sacrifice. This actually works well in the Southern Hemisphere, just as we commemorate our dead loved ones at Samhain (Halloween), so we remember the sacrifice of Jesus, if we are in the Christian tradition.
It is also Pesach, in the Jewish tradition. This year the first night of Pesach falls on the 7th of April. Easter Friday. The symbolism of both Easter and Passover work together to create a deeper meaning. Not only this, but the 18th of April is Yom HasShoah (Day of Rememberance)- holocaust memorial day. A day of sadness, memory but also hope for the future.
Easter, Pesach, Yom HaShoah the upcoming Samhain, combined with the Thanksgiving festival of Mabon- it’s hard to imagine that it’s not just one big coincidence saying- “See, we’re all similar. We all have a story to tell, and our stories can work together to create an even greater meaning.”
So that’s what this time of year means for me.
What does Easter mean to you?