Easter is special for me. I was raised in the Anglican church. My grandfather , among other things, played the organ at the Anglican church we went to in Belair, St.Vincent (St. John’s.) I loved when he played the hymn “there is a green hill far away.” Even though now I don’t go to church as much as I would like to, I still hold the Easter traditions I grew up with close to my heart.
In addition to going to church and spending time with family. Here’s a list of some of the traditions, food and superstitions that spring to mind when I think about Easter.
- Don’t eat meat on Good Friday I can still remember my mother saying this. This was a sort of penance to honor the sacrifice that Christ made. (Of course many people do this throughout the Lenten season particularly on Fridays.) We could only eat fish on Good Friday. Incidentally that’s all I eat now as a Pescatarian so it’s a whole lot easier for me to do theses days.
- Fortune Telling Eggs: I’m pretty sure we were doing it incorrectly, but my brother and I used to crack an egg in the front yard on some pavement, in hopes of predicting our future. I have no idea what we were supposed to be looking for. But I believe the actual tradition was to crack the egg in water and then the shape of the egg white some how determines your future. Do you know about this?
- Easter Bonnet Pageants: I don’t know how many times I did this. But I have a strong memory of going to at least one Easter bonnet pageant. And it’s strange because I always forget to ask my mother about this. It’s basically I think like a tea party for kids. Everyone wore a beautiful Easter dress and we all donned hats that tied under the chin. Then I believe there was some sort of competition involving the Easter bonnet. Can someone please back up this Easter bonnet memory I have. I have some questions when I see my family this weekend lol.
4. Hot cross buns: “One a penny, two a penny…” In addition to eating Fish I remember hot cross buns were a big deal in my household. It’s a very British thing. I don’t know what is the quintessential Vincentian Easter food. I know in Jamaica bun and cheese is what they eat during Easter. You?
5. Easter Egg Hunts: This isn’t very West Indian but I’ve told this story many times on CP24 news. The fact that my mother would hide chocolate eggs around the house and then she would forget where she hid them and we would find them in August all melty and gross. She also claims I often cried because my brother would find more eggs than me. I love my eggs can’t wait for chocolate egg sales(Cadbury creme eggs are my fave) after Easter!
6. Kite Flying: Strong winds prevail at Easter, which makes it a perfect time for kite flying. I don’t remember ever owning a kite of my own, but I believe my brother did. I remember going out to Argyle (before the international airport) and flying kites. Argyle is on the Atlantic side of the island. I can still smell the water and the sea grapes.
7. Bequia Easter Regatta: Bequia is an island in the Grenadines. I last wrote about it here. The Easter regatta is a world renowned event that draws the best in the international sailing scene for a one of a kind weekend. I don’t think I ever really saw any actual racing lol, because I was more focused on hanging out with my friends and/or family at the various beach side events. I remember the first time my mother let me go over to Bequia for the weekend unsupervised, I still can’t believe she let me go! My best friend Sanyu and I had so much fun! That whole weekend played out like some kind of Caribbean coming of age movie. (Not in the way you think. But I am gonna write a screenplay by the way) I was last there for Easter in 2010. Nowadays the parties for Bequia Easter weekend have been elevated to a more ‘Carnival all inclusive’ level. I always have major FOMO scrolling through instagram.
Y’all know I love a walk down memory lane (Caribbean people love to talk old stories.) Thanks for taking a walk with me. What are your favourite Easter traditions? Let me know in the comments section below. Have a blessed Easter!!
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