In this family, the family of me, we celebrate secular easter. And we love it!
As a younger kid I didn’t think much about easter beyond a basket of candy and wearing a cute dress and a fun hat. And egg hunts! LOVED IT. We did go to church some years because my parents were in a like, “going to church to maybe make some friends phase,” but I never really paid attention in church and didn’t see it as more than a social event/public place to show off the aforementioned cute dress and fun hat.
When my pre-teen and teenage years came around, we were always on the road for easter! Spring Break! We were in Florida, Hawaii, Myrtle Beach…wherever. It was fun AF. On the actual day of easter we’d just be like, “Let’s eat candy in our bathing suits, cool cool cool.”
In college, easter fell within our “spring break,” but as a cheerleader I didn’t have a spring break and we would just practice for hours and hours on end every day and almost die. It was a great time to bond as a team but did not have any kind of holiday vibe, besides maybe some candy.
After I graduated and moved to Jersey City, my parents would come visit and we would do a “spring brunch.” We didn’t get to do a “spring brunch” this year and I’m still feeling pretty sad about it. In past years it was often the first time of the year we got to go to a restaurant and eat outside. Sometimes it would still be cold but we would walk there and the sun would be shining. Nature deserves to have a day or two (or 20) devoted to celebrating and enjoying it, and I think this was a perfect day to do that.
I’ve always taken special care to emphasize the fact that our “spring brunches” are completely and totally secular. I don’t want anyone to think I’m celebrating a Christian holiday…because I’m not. It doesn’t seem right! I don’t believe in it at all so what’s the point?
I prefer secular easter. Completely separated from any religious meaning, at least to me. Maybe some of the traditions even began as religious ones, but now I have them and I’m crediting them to nature and science. It’s nice to celebrate “spring” as a whole and to focus on flowers and birds and eggs and bunnies and rebirth and all the springtime symbolism that comes from nature.
But on my end it’s really just an admiration and appreciation for the natural order of things, not a deifying of any of these elements of nature. That wouldn’t seem right to me either. Meaning right to me FOR MY OWN LIFE. You can deify whatever you want as long as it doesn’t mess up my day in some way.
high five from american gods regarding secular easter.
Last year I came across an episode of the show American Gods, ON EASTER, by chance, and it really gave me something to smile about as far as easter/celebrating spring goes.
Kristen Chenowith (always adorbs!) plays the goddess Ostara, one of the “old gods” as far as the storyline in the show (and book…I think). This god also goes by “Easter,” ever heard of it? The protagonists go to visit her and she’s having a big spring party and there are bunnies and flowers and HATS. OH MY GOSH…the hats. But there are also a bunch of longhaired dudes there, aka different representations of “jesus.” According to the plot of the show, it seems that the Christian version of celebrating spring and easter has overtaken the older, closer to nature ways, and the main characters kind of convince Ostara to take BACK easter from “jesus,” AND OH, DOES SHE.
I was super pumped on this episode and SUPER INTO IT. After it was over, I Googled the HECK out of it. I found a few things on the internet that were like “Yeah people worshipped that gal,” “One of the Brothers Grimm made it up,” “There isn’t conclusive evidence either way.” So I don’t know if she is REALLY REAL.
But I still like her. As an idea! Even if she IS real in the sense that people DID worship her, I see her as more of a symbol, a metaphor to explain the spring fling things that are already happening. An attempt to be connected to the earth and the natural order in a special way. They didn’t have science or the internet in olden times, they had to invent their own shit and explanations.
Now we know better.
this year’s secular easter.
As an atheist, I don’t believe in anything. But I DO like stories. And I enjoy the pagan stories much more. They’re more fun! More colorful! The gods get into HI-JINX!
Anyway, I really enjoyed the secular easter this year, even though I was still sad I couldn’t go to “spring brunch” with my parents.
We colored eggs…
The easter bunny came…
And we ate candy and wore hats.
Then we finished the whole thing off with a nice dinner and also banana pudding and waffles, together in taco form.
I’m glad it’s spring and the world has woken up and I can’t wait to go outside.
PLEASE LET ME GO OUTSIDE TO FULLY COMMUNE WITH NATURE I AM LOSING MY SHIT.