Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Easter in Australia

Do you know much about Easter? 

For Christians, Christmas is the celebration of Jesus' birthday, we all know that one. Well Easter is the celebration of his death. Now I don't believe in God or Jesus anymore than I believe in unicorns or the tooth fairy, but Easter is a big part of Australian culture, and I do like eating food. 

The most obvious feature of Easter is the chocolate eggs the Easter bunny delivers, Why we do this is I have no idea. Commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus by telling our children a giant bunny rabbit left chocolate eggs in the night. Why those two things? Why not Goldfish left Lincoln Logs in your sock drawer? As long as we’re making it up, go hog wild you know.

'Mummy, I woke today and there was a Lincoln Log in me sock drawer!'.
'That's the story of Jesus'.
I've read the Bible. I can't find the words ‘bunny’ or ‘chocolate’ anywhere in the book. 

But anyhoo....

In Australia we do a few things a little bit differently. For example we eat hot cross buns. A kind of fruit cake/bread with a white cross painted on it. We eat them hot with butter, they are quite good. We also often eat lots of pancakes, this tradition started because in the past people tried to use up all of their food before 'lent' (fasting). 

We have also tried to change the image of the Easter bunny to the Easter 'bilby' because rabbits are an introduced species and considered a pest in Australia. 

One other uniquely Sydney thing is the Royal Easter Show. It is a kind of huge festival/carnival with rides, and exhibitions/parades of animals and food from around the country. It's theme is city meets country. I really loved going as a kid.


  1. Easter is a culture related to religion, like Obon in Japan, right? I wonder why Easter and bunny connected each other in the past, but it is interesting. I have been thinking many things, including culture and custom, are based on Christianity in western countries.
    I did not know a toy, Lincoln Logs. Is it common in Australia?

  2. Religion is a huge part of any culture & its language, so much we don't even think about it. Understanding the history etc behind a language is a big part of understanding a language.

    Lincoln logs are an American toy, we don't have them in Australia. I just heard about them in a joke from one of my favorite comedians.

    I did a bit of searching and found a possible connection for the bunny/egg theme in Easter. Some suspect that Easter is connected to the ancient Germanic Pagan goddess Ēostre. She was a fertility goddess connected to dawn and spring. Her festival was held around the beginning of spring (April). Her symbols were things connected to new life and rebirth so the egg makes perfect sense, the rabbit I guess was used to represent procreation, as they reproduce so quickly. This is not an unusual idea as the early Christians put there holidays (e.g Christmas) on the same day as old Pagan holidays so as to push them out and make people forget about the old gods.