I have to admit to feeling a few frustrations this Easter. Yes, it was nice to get a long weekend off school; yes, it was nice to spend a few bonus days doing things I enjoy; yes, it I enjoyed my Easter eggs. But, even so…
… the thing that irritated me is this: Easter is supposed to be in spring.
Easter is a northern hemisphere celebration of new life. Whilst the Christian church celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus, Easter is a festival that goes back long before that. The word ‘Easter’ comes from the same root as the English scientific word ‘oestrogen’. Oestrogen is the chemical in the female body that allows them to reproduce – not just in humans, but in all animals. Easter, then, is the time of year when there’s a celebration of all the cute little things running, hopping or flapping around: calves, lambs, chicks, young birds – fledglings – and, yes, bunnies.
Easter, if we are correct about these things, needs to be in spring. Here, in the southern hemisphere, Easter is at the start of autumn and not spring.
And, as we know, autumn is the opposite of the new life of Easter. Autumn is when the trees drop leaves, animals prepare for winter hibernation, the days are shorter and things are turning colder.
So. Here’s an idea: move Easter!
Easter can still stay in March or April in the northern hemisphere (when the date of Easter actually is, because it moves every year, is a complicated business to work out) but in New Zealand, Australia and other southern-hemisphere countries, we should move it our spring.
Late October or early November is an ideal time. It’s soon enough after midwinter, and there are animals appearing the fields and trees. And far enough away from Christmas.
Or we could move Christmas too… Now, there’s a thought…!
Article written by Ben Egerton
This is an opinion-based article designed to provoke debate, discussion and further inquiry
amongst your students:
Critical Thinking Challenges:
1. Should we celebrate Easter?
2. Why do southern hemisphere countries have to have their major holidays and festivals decided by northern hemisphere countries?
3. Many of our holidays and festivals are based on the Christian church. Is that still important today?
4. Is it more important to celebrate things like Anzac Day and Waitangi Day than ancient festivals?
1. Find a calendar which has holidays, saints’ days, festivals marked on it. How many days a year are taken up by them?
2. What would happen – what would the implications be – do you think, if Easter was actually moved?
3. Holidays – in my opinion – need to be spread out equally during the year. One in summer, one in winter, one in spring and one in autumn. If you were deciding when they’d be and what to call them, what would you do?
Have Your Say:
[socialpoll id=”[socialpoll id=”2350199″]