on Making our own traditions: Easter

The mismatch and the discrepancy, and the consumerism around Hallmark rabbits with ribbons and (?) chocolate insanity (with all its waste of aluminum and sugar highs) as well as the arrival of autumn 🍂 here in the Southern Hemisphere, are clearly NOT in the way of celebrating Easter here in Australia – essentially a Northern Hemisphere mark of the Light, Spring, Nature blooming, rabbits 🐇 multiplying, eggs hatching – all representations of fertility, sexuality, abundance, joy and the start of a new cycle of light and longer days.

My Bulgarian roots remind me of sweet bread 🍞with raisins or nuts, my grandmas both decorating eggs in very different fashions – one of them in these melange colors extracted from smelly pastes she had hidden in her endless cupboards that were so transfixing to me, and the other one with whatever she could come upon in her garden, mostly onion 🧅 leaves, beets, or she would ask my cousins and me to add our drawings on the yellow eggs.

The 1st egg is always to be the red ♥️ and the youngest child was to receive a cross from the fresh dye on their forehead, which we proudly walked around with all day like wearing a crown.

Good memories, traditions that I am only hopeful to pass onto my son and hopefully onto his children one day. It is through those presumably small acts of collective doing, of slowing down and always “knowing” how the day would go, that we allow ourselves to BELONG.

I decorated our eggs with store-bought dye from the local Greek shop and also drew some ancient symbols of connection (HORÓ): the women holding hands in a circle ⭕️, the kanatiza: a symbol of family, unity, growth and soul; trees; and the web of interconnectedness.

I am waiting for my family to wake up and we will do my most favorite tradition – the egg fight. It’s not what it sounds though. Everyone selects an egg and we bump each pointy side against each other’s egg (again a symbolic act of fertilization, connection, linking and competition). The aim is for your egg to remain unbroken which would guarantee a year of health and strength for you!

I always tell the story of the year when my favorite grandfather sneaked in a wooden egg and smashed everyone’s eggs🥰

Hope you can weave in your own traditions that reach deeply both into your roots and into the beyond of who you will be remembered by.

Happy Easter!

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