EasterThe Easter weekend is generally a special season that families Down Under look forward to. Usually celebrated in March or April, it’s a popular time for families to take a short holiday to the beach or camping. We are usually fortunate with good weather; the days are warm, but without the high humidity most parts of Australia tolerate throughout summer.  The other thing most of us do at Easter is enjoy chocolate eggs and bunnies. Here in Australia, we have really made the season our own – with the adored chocolate bilby.

Many Australian families appreciate religious significance around the Easter season. Whether we are Christian or not, most Australians will have heard the story about Jesus dying on the Cross for human sins, and then raising from the dead three days later.

Here in Australia, we are blessed with a multicultural and multi-faith population, and publically there is not a great deal of religious significance to the Easter weekend.   But that’s not to say that Easter is not valued by Australians. There are many important messages of the season to share with our children, regardless of religious faith.

Firstly, there is the symbolism of the egg. Whether a chocolate egg or painted egg, the egg itself is symbolic of life and rebirth, as are the baby chicks we often see in Easter displays.  You don’t need to believe in Christ to appreciate the concept of rebirth and new life. Explain to your kids that, regardless of what has happened in the past (such as bad behaviour), tomorrow is always a new day and another opportunity to do better.

All around the world, different cultures celebrate in different ways. In England, children make Easter bonnets and enjoy hot cross buns.  In both Italy and the Netherlands, families enjoy a special type of sweet bread that is made especially for the season, and in Germany and Sweden, big bonfires are lit on Easter Saturday, which brings communities together as they gather to watch. In the Bermuda, home-made kites are flown, and Greeks paint boiled eggs red, which they use to play a game with family members on Sunday lunch.

Easter is an important time to be thankful for our family and loved ones. This is a time that families and friends come together to enjoy a picnic, meal or a holiday, and appreciate the company of family. Regardless of the size or biological relationship between the members, a family is really a group of people who love and care for one another and live together most of the time.  Easter is a wonderful time to be thankful for every family we call our own and share this valuable message with our kids.