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Easter Celebrations in Australia

Easter is the most significant event in the Christian calendar.The island nation of Australia celebrates Easter with great fanfare and traditional fervor. The festival is celebrated with great enjoyment, pomp and splendor.Easter in Australia are marked with all religious customs and tradition.

Easter in Australia

Easter Celebrations in Australia

Australia is a wonderful country with people from different parts of the world. So, Easter is celebrated in a variety of ways.

The main day of celebration of families of Anglo-Irish backgrounds is Easter Sunday. Some people go to church services and have hot cross buns for breakfast. These are a sweet fruit bun, which may have a cross on top. Children exchange Easter eggs, which are usually made of chocolate. Some are now made from sugar and have little toys inside. The chocolate eggs are available in an egg shape, from tiny little ones to giant ones. Some chocolate eggs are also in the shape of cheeky looking rabbits.

Many families arrange for an Easter hunt in their homes or gardens to see who can find the most eggs on Easter Sunday morning. They then share a meal with their relatives. Traditionally this has consisted of roast lamb, beef or chicken with roasted vegetables like potatoes, carrots, pumpkin.

Easter Sunday is a public holiday in 4 states and 1 territory. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed. It is celebrated with as much fanfare and enthusiasm, as with the rest of the Christian world.

However, there is a subtle difference when it comes to the celebration of Easter in Australia. Rabbits are pests in Australia, and they destroy huge amounts of crops every year. Hence, more and more people are ditching the Easter bunny or rabbit in favour of the Easter bilby. Bilby is a creature native to Australia. It is a small, shy mammal, and is critically endangered, in spite of hopping the Australian land for about 15 million years, owing to the invasive species like rabbits. These rabbits drastically altered the Australian ecosystem and bilbies had to fight the losing war for burrows and food, while avoiding other introduced predators such as foxes and feral cats. Only active conservation can save them now.

Wherever possible, buy chocolate Easter bilbies for self consumption and for gifting, as part of the sale proceeds go to the conservation of this native animal.

Easter in Australia

Easter is welcomed both by religious Christians and non Christians. Almost all Christians attend the church services at this time, even if they miss it regularly at other times of the year. For non-christians, the festival brings forward a welcome break of 4 or more days, in the best of the seasons. No wonder sports events and cultural events are common at this time in Australia. A consortium of local Easter celebrations also flourish.

Some of the Major and Popular Cultural Events held in Australia at the Easter weekend:

  • The Sydney Royal Easter Show
  • The New South Wales Royal Easter Show
  • The Australian Gospel Music Festival held at Toowoomba in Queensland
  • The Ulladulla Blessing of the Fleet Festival
  • National Folk Festival, in the capital city of Canberra

Some of the important and major sporting events in Australia in the Easter weekend:

  • Football Matches (Major, league ones)
  • The Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race
  • Equestrian Races (Horse races)
  • Australia's oldest and richest short-distance running race, The Stawell Gift

Most of these events enjoy a large number of TV audiences as well, covering a wide area.

Organizing and participating in egg hunt events is a popular activity on Easter Sunday, and many communities organize the same in gardens and parks. Frequently, chocolate eggs, eggs made of candy, and plastic eggs are used over chicken eggs. Most decorations involve wrapping of these eggs with printed colour paper, with Easter symbols or icons. Here also, more mystical bilbies deliver the eggs, instead of the bunny.

On Easter Sunday, many people receive or search for Easter eggs. These are egg-shaped and made from chocolate, candy or are decorated hens' or plastic eggs. They are often covered in brightly coloured foil or decorated with images of rabbits or chicks. Many community groups and some families organize Easter egg hunts in parks or gardens. These are family events, usually aimed at young children.