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Happy Easter!

For some, this is a deeply religious time of the year, and the main celebrations occur on Easter Sunday.

For others of us, who are not so religious, Easter is all about chocolate and/or bunnies! and they can pretty much take up all weekend. ;-)

Lindt-Chocolate-Bunnies-small



Here in NZ, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are statutory holidays, and most businesses are closed on Friday and Sunday. That means two entire days with the shops shut up firmly, aside from dairies (convenience stores, like a 7-11) and service stations (gas stations).

When I was a child, everything would pretty much be shut for the whole four days, as Saturday shopping only arrived in NZ in the mid-eighties, and Sunday shopping started while I was out of NZ on my OE (Overseas Experience) between 1987 and 1992. Now, people go nuts because the shops are shut on Friday and Sunday. So it can be pretty crazy there the other days! It's actually illegal to open up on these days here too, unless you have an exception, which has been interesting for Garden and Plant shops in years past, as many of them think it's a good time to be open while people are doing their last major gardening before the weather turns cold.

This year, as Easter is very late, we also have ANZAC day very close by (25th April), which is another half-day with the shops shut, (they open from noon on this day), so it's even more of a special time of the year than Christmas in many ways for us here.

I apologise for not touching much on the religious aspect, but coming from a household of agnostics and atheists (although I was brought up Methodist, we weren't exactly strict. My mother goes to church these days for the social aspect, I think. Me, I go to funerals and weddings and that's pretty much it), I don't recall any specific happenings or traditions that we observed relating to the crucifixion or the resurrection.

As a child, we never got individual eggs, nor did the Easter Bunny visit us, but Mum always bought a bunch of marshmallow eggs and we got a couple of them, if we were lucky:

easter eggs marshmallow_egg

They typically look like this and a cross section is like the second pic. The best kind actually had dark yellow 'yolk' marshamallow near the middle so they seemed more authentic.

My brothers, sister and I were always rather disappointed that we so rarely got hollow eggs, and marshmallow eggs were always 'boring', although in hindsight, better than nothing I suppose! My mum couldn't afford to buy four of us individual hollow eggs though, as they were quite expensive (and still are really!) and she was a single parent with a low income, so it's understandable. Occasionally we might get something more fancy from my grandparents or someone, but I don't recall it happening very often. We would eat chocolate like this on Easter Sunday.

We also always had Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday:

hot cross buns

These are fruit buns with a cross of white dough across the top, and are best eaten warm, cut in half with a little butter on the opened side - maybe stuck back together, or maybe just eaten in halves.

Now I'm older, Easter still means days off work, but I do buy hollow eggs for my kids - in fact we all choose one (still no Easter bunny activity) and spend way too much on them! Then I buy individually wrapped small 'hunting' eggs and on Easter Sunday, I'll hide them around our garden (if it's fine) or inside the house (if wet) while the kids stay out of the way (and don't look!). When the eggs are all hidden, the kids come out and look for them. I like to play fair, so I make sure they will all get the same amount of each kind of egg (some solid small ones, some creme eggs and whatever else I can find that's cute), and I always count how many I've hidden so none get left behind to be found, ruined, months later! My kids love doing this hunt even now, and they are 11, 15 and 17! Tomorrow, we're having family over for lunch, so we're having my cousin's little boy (who's around 5 or 6) join in with the hunt, which will make it even more fun - the littlies are the best!

Hot cross buns are also in abundance - in fact, here in NZ at least, they are in the shops as soon as Christmas is over and done with, which seems crazy, but they are pretty good all the same. We even have 'hot cross bread' which is just like the buns only in loaf form. I bought some of this the other week, and just pulled it out of the freezer today. Toasted, it's delicious with butter, and the slices are so thick, they only just fit in my toaster! Normally I'd have them out for lunch on Good Friday, but I kinda forgot yesterday, so we had the bread out this afternoon, and tomorrow I have them to add to our 'pot luck' lunch with some of my family.



What special things do you and your family/friends like to do for Easter? Do you do any special religious-related things? What's your favourite kind of chocolate, or special Easter food to eat?

I shall finish with some Creme Eggs for you all today, and offer up a prompt for anyone wanting to write something with an Easter theme:

How do you eat your creme eggs?

Cadburys-creme-eggs-001

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
fairyniamh
Apr. 19th, 2014 08:34 am (UTC)
Well, I am a Spiritual person. I have been (studied) many religions. My family though are Pagans. We celebrated Isthar (Easter) a fertility Goddess. So for me; the eggs, rabbits, and feast all made a different sense.

We watch the kids have fun. Eat eggs (Lots of eggs) and just generally make merry.

We were never rich growing up, but we had fun coloring eggs for the Easter Bunny to hide.

Happy Easter to you. May your day bring fertile muses.
alba17
Apr. 19th, 2014 12:26 pm (UTC)
You grew up as a Pagan? That's so interesting! Lots of interesting traditions there. I love the idea of tying celebrations to nature.
fairyniamh
Apr. 19th, 2014 01:37 pm (UTC)
0-10 I was a practicing Pagan
10-12 A devoted (baptized) Christian
13-present: Native American Shamanism, Wiccan, Hindu, Buddhist, and whatever else catches my attention.

I have a Multi-Religion/Multi-Cultural family so my Holidays differ from the norm, but in the end; they all boil down to the same thing with the same basic rule.
maevemist
Apr. 19th, 2014 11:08 am (UTC)
When I was a kid we had massive eater baskets filled with chocolate eggs of all shapes and sizes that I later learned were financed by my bachelor Uncle who had lots of money. Other than that we got a new outfit that my sister and I got to pick ourselves. This was a huge deal for me as my clothes were 99% hand-me-downs from my sister, cousins and even neighbours.

We have always observed Good Friday by never eating red meat or even chicken that day. Even as an adult the very thought of eating meat or watching people eat it on Good Friday makes me ill. Oddly enough the only time I have ever had lunch with a true Christian family on Good Friday they ate meat pies and roast lamb. (the mum had to make me fish fingers lol)

My favourite Easter as a child was the one when I was 10 and I was in an isolation ward in hospital and some big tough bikies (think Hell's Angels, Banditos, Sons Of Anarchy.) came in a brought me an egg and refused to wear the gown and mask like they were supposed too. Then when they had visited all the other kids in the ward outside they came back and gave me everything they had left and they had tears in there eyes. That night while I was sleeping the nurses snuck in a chocolate for me too and I truly believed the Easter Bunny had come to visit me.

Now as an adult we celebrate Easter on Good Friday with an Easter egg hunt, wearing silly hats and eat a massive lunch of fresh seafood and way too much chocolate at my parents house. Oh and hot cross buns too which my mother always burns without fail. We toast ours and have either butter, butter and jam or butter and honey on them. This year we did the Egg hunt 2 weeks ago because my 15 year old Daughter didn't want to miss out while she was in Japan. The other kids all younger than her only joined in for her sake. I think I will miss it next year when no-one wants to do it.

I was a practising Catholic as a child so I guess we must have gone to church for Easter since I remember there was always a special kids service but I stopped going when I was a teenager.
alba17
Apr. 19th, 2014 12:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing a NZ Easter. Interesting. In the US, at least where I live, everything's open nearly all the time, LOL. No official holidays around Easter. My family growing up celebrated Easter with dressing up for church, hiding hand-dyed Easter eggs in the yard and an Easter basket with candy that came from the Easter bunny. I think we may have gotten a small gift in addition, don't remember. We had a big Easter dinner too, in the US it's often ham.

I love hot cross buns. They usually don't appear here until a couple of weeks before Easter. I tried making them once but they didn't come out quite right.

I'm not religious and I don't have any family nearby, so my own family doesn't really celebrate it, although the Easter bunny brings a basket for the kids with candy. We do celebrate Passover, which is usually the same week, as my partner's Jewish.
erinm_4600
Apr. 19th, 2014 12:41 pm (UTC)
I do not eat Cadburys. Never had one, EVER, in fact.

But Happy Easter to you all, regardless ♥
bizarra
Apr. 19th, 2014 01:29 pm (UTC)
I should fix that. :p
haldoor
May. 3rd, 2014 07:08 am (UTC)
By Cadbury's, can I assume you mean Creme Eggs only? As Cadbury's here make SO MANY different chocolates, not just those kind of Easter Eggs (as well as many different Easter Eggs as well), that we simply call them Creme Eggs as otherwise... yeah, too too many! It seems really odd to me, otherwise, that someone would never have EVER eaten any Cadbury's products at all, and I'm sure you can't mean that?

Happy Easter... very late... back to you!
erinm_4600
May. 3rd, 2014 02:26 pm (UTC)
In relation to this post, it was particularly the creme eggs.

However, unless they're under another name in the US, I have never had a Cadbury product ever.

There is a reason for this though, as I am severely allergic to milk -and- chocolate. So, really... there's no overwhelming urge to try any of them. :)
haldoor
May. 4th, 2014 07:53 am (UTC)
Ah well, allergy would be a good reason not to. ;-)

I guess Cadbury's are more of a British and colonies' company, as it's the most popular and well-known brand of chocolate here with a HUGE range of products. America, as with many things, has so many of their own brands so it makes sense it's less popular, I guess!
erinm_4600
May. 7th, 2014 12:40 pm (UTC)
I assume it's the UK version of Hershey or Mars. And Hershey and Mars makes all kinds of crazy things! LOL

Don't get me wrong - sometimes you just need to risk the illness for the chocolate. :D
haldoor_honey
May. 10th, 2014 02:30 am (UTC)
Yeah, I guess it probably is - it's way bigger in the UK and here in the colonies than anything like the ones you mention, though we do get the odd thing or two from America... ;-P

Oh, I'm sure it's worth the pain, for a while at least! ;-)
bizarra
Apr. 19th, 2014 01:40 pm (UTC)
I slurp my Cadbury's. And then eat the chocolate shell. :) YUMMMMM

I'm not overly religious now, but when we were little I grew up in a Catholic family and went to Catholic grade school. so Easter was a thing. Mom and Dad always hid eggs in the house, so first thing, we was find those and then cheer at the nice Easter basket we got. (Though as I was not a candy eating child - seriously. I'd rather eat dry cereal out of the box than a Snickers mom would give me a single box of mints that she knew I'd actually eat. LOL) Then we went over to the Funeral Home to my grandparents and great grandmother and great aunt and went to church with them, then came back and then went out to the Country Club and the egg hunt there, then the big Easter brunch they always had.

Now...it's just a Sunday because it's just me and I don't really celebrate holidays anymore. I'm a days drive from my family, so, I may grab an egg at Walgreens and call it good. LOL
thtwzjustadream
Apr. 19th, 2014 11:51 pm (UTC)
Good Easter, Passover, Spring/Fall. For me it's all about the outdoors now, and getting in some long walks to celebrate being able to feel the sun again!!! I got four or five miles in today and took a bunch of pictures, but only really like this one - have some pretty cherry blossoms from The Lake on the west side.

Behind a cut because it's big!

[Spoiler (click to open)]



My family celebrated Easter when we were kids. We still went to Mass when we were little, though that fell by the wayside eventually. My sister and I would dye eggs sometimes. My mom hated that part, she didn't like the fuss and the mess and the eggs never got eaten later....

She more than made up for it with amazing Easter baskets, though - the whole spiel; basket with handle wrapped in pink cellophane, big chocolate bunny sitting in a sea of jelly beans, peeps and chocolate eggs and ... yikes, the candy lasted a month, as I remember. I think when I call her tomorrow I'll say thank you for that, for the way she did things up. It doesn't dawn on you until you're older that your parents- they didn't really have to do all that! ;)

We had a family dinner every year - either our house or my gram's. Ham, of course, baked beans, rolls, veggies and scalloped potatoes. I loved those scalloped potatoes, wow. I haven't heard my mom say if they're doing so this year, but I think not- kind of a been a busy few weeks for them, so I think they're chilling.

I won't have scalloped potatoes, but I may go look for one of those Cadbury eggs tomorrow.
galadriel34
Apr. 20th, 2014 08:04 am (UTC)
We (my family and me) always celebrate Easter. In my country is one of the biggest holiday whether you're a religious or aren't. Our family not a religious one, we didn't go to church, ect. But we kept the main traditions. In my country the main meal is for breakfast and supper is the cooked ham with cooked sausage and boiled eggs with grated horseradish and we bake Kalács. Some family make it salted some make it sweet. I always made beigli. We visit each other and then came Monday and the boys will go to locsolkodni :) It's fun for them, but today they use perfume rather than water, thank god, it's lucky for the girls :) Then the girls give them some colored eggs or chocolate eggs, sometimes money and they have fun :)

In here everything is closed, so it's no work and no shopping :) When my kids were little they got presents from everyone in the family (toys, clothes, books etc) along with the chocolate bunnies and eggs and they put them in the nest what they made from grass :)

When I was a kid my mom made this kind of colored eggs, the Írott húsvéti tojás. I learned from her and when my kids were little I used to make them too, but today I didn't because it's very complicated and I hadn't have enough time to make them, so I made some a few years ago with eggshell and kept them and I use it every year :)
kaige68
Apr. 22nd, 2014 06:47 pm (UTC)
I'm behind, but I found reading peoples' answers interesting so I shall tell you:

I have never been on an egg hunt.

When I was little, our Auntie Tib (my mother's aunt) would buy my sister and me Easter outfits (or sometimes my grandmother), the Bunny left a basket with candy (probably supplemented by my grandmother) and one gift that was usually the same thing for both of us but in different colors. There'd be mass, and then my grandmother's house, always my mother's mother, never my father's family.

After falling away from the Catholic church, and my parent's divorce, there would still be stuff from the bunny, but it was typically just candy and in market bags. Still over to Nana's until she passed, and strangely enough, we never had ham. We didn't discover spiral ham until after Nana passed away, so Easter dinner was usually turkey.

Now, it's just me and my sister swapping chocolate, and there's a late dinner with a spiral ham.

And that's my Easter. Also I cannot manage to eat a Cadbury egg without getting covered with whatever flavor is inside (orange creme is my fav), but it's kind of like a tradition for me.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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