For most children, Easter is a time when they get to eat a lot of chocolate without being told off. For some adults, it’s a nice long weekend away from work.
As a Jamaican, my family have long upheld a lot of practices that I now think are traditional more than Christian doctrine. The fact that my parents never attended Church unless it was a wedding, christening or funeral adds weight to my reasoning. At Easter, the closest we got to the religious ceremony was watching Jesus of Nazareth on TV on Easter Sunday.
The countdown to Easter started with spring cleaning leading up to Easter week. The Thursday before Good Friday, we’d have a meaty meal as if we’d never be able to eat meat again. This is because on Good Friday, we knew we weren’t allowed to eat meat. My mum (and then me when I left home) would spend the afternoon frying up to 20 fish escoveitch style.
On Good Friday, we would have ackee/callaloo and salt fish with fried dumplings and fried plantain for breakfast. During the course of the day, we’d snack on bun and cheese, fried escoveitch fish and hard dough bread or hot cross buns.
The day was spent relaxing, watching TV, playing games or reading. We weren’t supposed to work on this day hence, spring cleaning the week before.
For dinner, we’d have stewed fish with yam, banana, boiled plantain and boiled dumplings (hard food).
Saturday was another family day spent at home or visiting relatives. Sunday, as I said, we didn’t go to church, the day was spent watching TV and eating a roast dinner.
Very traditional, but I’m done with tradition this year. Having repeated the same pattern each year, I started to question the need for it. It obviously holds Christian significance, but I am not a Christian, so why do I continue to uphold the practices? When I mention to my family that I won’t be frying fish and I might be eating bacon for breakfast on Good Friday, they are upset. The only reason they can give is because it’s tradition. I think it has more to do with their stomachs, and as none of them is ever in the kitchen when I’m cooking, this year, they can grab a Chinese takeaway. I’m done.
I know Christians uphold some of these practices for religious reasons but what about other people and other countries? Why do you celebrate Easter? Leave a comment and let me know what you do for Easter.