Loves going out and about in Canberra and writing about her adventures! Also addicted to coffee, high teas, escape rooms, and dressing up.
Published March 12th 2019
Eight ways to celebrate this egg-citing season
Easter is one of the big celebrations of our Western calendar year. It's a time when we have extra days off work and school, the time when we overindulge on chocolate, the time when the Easter Bunny reigns supreme, the time of the traditional rugby league clash between South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, the time of the Royal Easter Show in Sydney, and if you're Christian, it's the time of Jesus, of course.
Like Christmas, Easter is a celebration with both Christian and non-Christian traditions. The bunnies and eggs and the very word 'Easter' itself have their origins in a pre-Christian past, while Christians celebrate Easter to commemorate the time when Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross, died, was buried and rose again.
Whether you celebrate Easter for the public holidays and chocolate, or you celebrate Easter because of Jesus, here are some ideas on how you can make this season a memorable one.
When it comes to decorating our homes for the season, Christmas is by far the most wonderful time of the year. Easter doesn't even come close. And that's only because decorating our homes for Easter isn't a widespread tradition here in Australia, unlike in many other countries. But the tradition is finally catching on.
Mainstream retail stores such as Kmart, Target, Bed Bath N Table, dusk, and Adairs now all sell a range of Easter decorations, including the Easter tree. Decorating a tree with eggs has been a tradition in Germany for centuries. I bought my first Easter tree and Easter egg decorations from Kmart a few years ago. My son loves decorating our Easter tree.
You can keep things simple this Easter by just starting with an Easter tree. Or you can be like my friend Kirsty and go all out with your Easter decorations. Here are some stunning ways how Kirsty decorates her home for Easter.
A tradition of the Easter season, and lots of fun for both children and grown-ups alike! If you have children, you can hide Easter eggs in your yard or inside your house for the kids to find on Easter Sunday. Or join one of the big Easter egg hunts in Canberra such as the ones organized by the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House and Yarralumla Play Station. Further details on these community-wide Easter egg hunts will be released closer to Easter so check back with us later.
3. Eat special Easter foods. Just as there are special foods reserved for Christmas, there are also special foods for Easter. Such as seafood on Good Friday, lamb on Easter Sunday, hot cross buns throughout the season, and of course, those yummy chocolate Easter eggs!
Another special Easter food is the Colomba Pasquale which is an Italian Easter equivalent of the Christmas panettone. Colomba Pasquale is a dove-shaped cake usually eaten at breakfast or as an afternoon snack during the Easter holidays in Italy. You can now buy your own lemon-flavoured or chocolate-flavoured Colomba Pasquale cakes at Coles such as the one below.
4. Eat lots of hot cross buns or even make your own!
Hot cross buns are special sweet buns marked with a cross on top. It's usually traditionally eaten on Good Friday, but Coles and Woolworths started selling them on December 26 last year so you can be forgiven for thinking that it's Easter now! The hot cross bun has become somewhat of a divisive issue, with many Aussies feeling outraged that Coles and Woollies began selling them right after Christmas, while many others couldn't care less and began eating them as soon as they hit the shelves. However you feel about the right time for hot cross buns to appear in our shops, you can't avoid them now. So if you love hot cross buns as much as I do, don't feel guilty, go and enjoy them, because Easter is coming, after all!
You can also make your own hot cross buns. I made my first ever batch one year, and though they didn't end up looking like hot cross buns (see below), believe me, they tasted exactly like hot cross buns! This year, I hope to get them looking just right. A very easy hot cross bun recipe can be found here.
5. Enjoy an Easter picnic.
A picnic under the golden autumn trees and crisp blue autumn skies is a lovely way to celebrate Easter with your family and friends. Cotter Avenue along the Cotter River is perfect for picnics under the autumn trees. Weston Park, Fadden Pines, Glebe Park, the National Arboretum, Canberra Nara Peace Park and the nearby Lennox Gardens and Canberra Beijing Garden are also lovely places for autumn picnics. Go here to find a picnic spot near you.
6. Make Easter crafts with the kids.
Instead of buying your decorations, you and your kids can also make your own. You can make all kinds of lovely Easter crafts including Easter hats, Easter wreaths, and all kinds of Easter bunny and Easter egg crafts. Go here and here for some great ideas.
7. Read Easter-themed books.
There are lots of Easter-themed books that are perfect for reading with your children. You'll find lots of books about the Easter Bunny, of course, but there are also books about the Easter Bilby (an Aussie version!), and books about Jesus too.
You can find Easter themed books at your local bookstore, Dymocks, Big W and Aldi. Any book about sheep and rabbits will also fit in with Easter.
And go to the Christian bookstore, Koorong, in Fyshwick for more religious-themed Easter books and DVDs.
And finally, but certainly not least,
8. Celebrate Easter at Church.
If you are Christian/religious, why not attend the Easter services at your local church? Most churches in Canberra will have services on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Many churches also begin their Easter services on Palm Sunday which is the Sunday before Easter (this year on April 14). And they will also have special services on Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday on April 18 which commemorates the Last Supper Jesus had with his disciples before he was crucified on Good Friday.
You can also attend the Way of the Cross service on Good Friday, April 19 at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Barton. Christians of all denominations are welcome to attend this event. For more details, go here.
Easter falls this year from Friday April 19 (Good Friday) to Sunday, April 21 (Easter Sunday), with a public holiday nationwide on Monday, April 22 (Easter Monday).
Have a happy Easter, everyone!
"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.
He has risen! He is not here."