Today marks the start of the annual Easter long weekend. A couple extra days of rest for some, a traditional religious holiday for others and a major magical event for many children.
This weekend Christians will commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus today and celebrate his resurrection on Easter, the most important event in the Christian calendar. As always, special church services and events will be held on both Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Our Jewish community will celebrate Passover, commemorating their freedom from slavery from the Egyptians 3,000 years ago with special ceremonies and meals.
Our Sikh neighbours may have celebrated Vaisakhi Day, their New Year, last weekend but they can take these holidays to enjoy their new calendar year.
We can’t forget contemporary Easter celebrations either, certainly the children won’t. The spring visit of the Easter Bunny with his baskets of candy eggs ranks only second for some to Santa Claus and the treat-filled stockings we look forward to in December and has turned into a major commercial enterprise as well as a yearly children’s treat.
Many of us will use this weekend, with its precious extra days off, to visit or host family or friends for our annual Easter dinner and catch up on both old and new news, meet the newest members of our extended families and make plans for the next time we’ll meet.
The idea of rebirth, renewal and growth is wound through all of these events and is bolstered by the season, as we watch the trees bud and leaf and our gardens begin to bloom, our lawns to sprout. We see the births of bunnies, lambs, birds and other animals in both nature and on farms. We watch our days getting longer and warmer.
We should all take a few moments during this holiday, no matter how we choose to celebrate it, and reflect on the ways we too can grow and renew ourselves, our communities and our country.