28 March 2024

Don't be cross - what's your weirdest Easter tradition?

| Zoe Cartwright
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Easter long weekend events

Think there’s only one way to do Easter? Au contraire. Photo: ArtMarie.

Imagine a world where you can buy a hot cross bun any day of the year.

There’s no annual conversation about how early is too early for them to appear on supermarket shelves, and they don’t disappear after the long weekend is over.

This magical world exists – in the Northern Hemisphere.

My Scottish fiancee and I were well aware that my idea of Christmas (sunshine, water fights, cricket, seafood, pavlova) was very different to his idea of Chirstmas (snow, TV specials, roast and a sticky toffee pudding).

Naively, I didn’t realise these differences extended to the festival of chocolate, also known as Easter, until he came home from the shops one day delighted and slightly puzzled by the sudden appearance of hot cross buns on shelves.

He thought we just didn’t have them here.

Alarmed by the idea that he comes from a nation that doesn’t have a serious discussion about what date is most appropriate for shops to begin selling fruit toast in a bun shape, I had some follow-up questions – mainly about whether Scottish parents are put through the torture second only to the book parade – the Easter hat parade.

READ ALSO We do Easter trees now? This has gone way too far!

The fact he didn’t believe it was a real thing gave me my answer.

After I convinced him to Google ‘Easter Hat Parade’ he was highly disparaging about our Antipodean traditions, called it “ridiculous” and laughed until he couldn’t breathe properly.

Deciding to go on the offensive, I asked him what his childhood Easter associations were and was duly put in my colonial place.

Of course there’s a roast lunch – when does anyone from the UK miss the opportunity for a roast?

Apparently in Scotland children actually empty the insides of real eggs, paint them and glaze them with nail polish for parents to display proudly on the mantle.

This was an annual school tradition, as opposed to the one time my mum tried to get us to do it and got the shits trying to drill a hole in the eggs to drain them before finding success with one, which my baby sister promptly smashed.

He also remembered his mum, who grew up in Germany, trying to share her Easter traditions of rolling eggs down a hill.

The Scottish verdict? “It was stupid.”

READ ALSO When it comes to hot cross buns, is nothing sacred?

Australian, Scottish or German, some Easter traditions transcend international borders, like the Easter egg hunt.

Waking up on a cold fresh morning to run out into the garden and hunt for eggs before the dogs sniff them out is a universal childhood experience – until we asked my cousins, who are visiting from Norway.

“Oh no,” they said, “at home the children get one big egg each at the end of their bed, and that’s it.”

They fear spending Easter in Australia this year is going to set some new expectations.

Regardless of whether you spend Easter making silly hats, going to church, hunting for eggs, or just enjoying some peace and quiet, I think there’s one thing we can all agree on – Easter holds a special kind of magic for the kids around us, and that’s something worth continuing, whatever your traditions.

Original Article published by Zoe Cartwright on Region Illawarra.

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