I’m not too keen on Christmas. The joy and purpose of the season for me has died among the millions of commercials and the pressure of getting appropriate gifts for everyone at the right time including people I don’t know, that well, but who I have to buy gifts for because if I don’t, I’ll end up hurting someone related to them, or with feelings of guilt and embarrassment because they bought me something and I didn’t. Pffft!
Easter however, is an entirely different kettle of fish. At least for me. I have always loved it since I was very young. I think mainly then, because of the Easter egg hunt, but not just that. And I love it even more now.
Firstly, I’m an Easter child. Born on what is the Persian New Year, first day of spring and so one, my birthday is close to Easter. And despite getting older every year, pretty much like the rest of the human population except Benjamin button, I love my birthday.
Secondly, the horrid wretched winter is truly over when Easter arrives. There might be some snow, at least in the mountains, but it’s an amount I can live with. And after Easter comes more spring and summer.
Thirdly, I like a lot of the things I culturally relate to Easter. The various chocolate eggs roasted Easter lamb, the cute chickens, the light spring colours of the Easter decorations and the Easter Crime and thrillers. I don’t know if any other countries have this, but in Norway, Easter is associated with Crime fiction and there is always a series running on TV, one on radio as well as crime novels and short stories being released. Oh and there’s also a crime story every year on the milk cartons where you have to guess who did it and won’t find out till Easter eve.
Finally, Easter is the season of new life, new hope and new beginnings.
Before some Roman Emperor dude decided that the calendar must be changed so that his birthday would fall on the first day of the year, the year started around spring time. My birthday March 21st which is the equinox. This makes a lot more sense. Mid-winter when the new starts now, there’s no real shift in nature to mark this. But as it was, flowers and trees would start blooming at the beginning of the New Year. Sheep would give birth to their lambs and chickens would get hatched.
There are also the biblical aspects of Easter. Firstly in the old testament where Moses led the Jews out of their enslavement in Egypt. They did wonder around the desert for 40 years, but their escape symbolizes the end of an old era and the start of a new.
Then of course, there’s the New Testament. Jesus who on Good Friday went down to the valley of death to create a way for our spirits to live on when our bodies rot. And if that’s not some kind of new beginning, I don’t know what is. In fact, Easter is one of the very few times a year I quite willingly not just go to mass, but instigate it.
So although it’s not Easter Sunday yet, I wish everybody a happy Easter and enjoy it, whether you do that for the chocolates, the Old Testament or the new one.