Easter is the most significant event in the Christian calendar as it is associated with spring and new birth. It commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ following His death by crucifixion on Good Friday. The festival is celebrated with great enjoyment, pomp and splendor. The religious occasion also marks the beginning of the autumn season as spring does not occur in April in Australia. Australia is a land of people belonging to different countries. Hence, different people have brought different traditions with them and thus, Easter celebrations take place in a variety of ways. It is celebrated as a public holiday with church services, rabbit and eggs as the major Easter attractions.
All the churches are decorated with flowers and special hymns are sung on Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday is the chief day of celebrations for the people. Sweets and hot cross buns are prepared bearing a cross on the top that are available in bakeries and stores weeks before Easter. However these days, the traditional hot cross buns are replaced by sweet fruit buns. One can also find the chocolate version of these buns. Children exchange Easter eggs of different shapes and sizes with one another. While most are made from chocolates, sugar, etc., some of them even have little and attractive toys inside. Some chocolate eggs are also shaped resembling mischievous looking rabbits.
Bilby, a native animal (an endangered species) of Australia is considered as the Easter symbol in Australia, instead of the traditional bunny. To show their concern for this endangered animal, chocolate manufacturers make Easter bilbies and share some of their profits to help protect these animals from extinction. Other Easter symbols include Easter eggs, rabbits and chocolates. Children are generally not concerned about the shape and size of these chocolates as for them, chocolates as what they always look out for. The Sydney Easter Show, Australia's largest annual event truly reflects the rich heritage of Australia. This annual event is organized in Sydney Olympic Park and the extravaganza is held across two weeks including the Easter long weekend.
Easter hunt is another popular activity organized on Easter by many families. Mostly, the Easter hunt is arranged in homes or gardens on Easter Sunday where kids hunt for eggs and the one to find most number of eggs is declared as the winner. Sharing Easter meal with relatives is another tradition that is followed in Australia. This meal generally consists of roasted lamb, beef or chicken along with roasted vegetables like potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, etc. The entire Australia is bathed with the glorious colors of autumn such as gold, burgundy, deep purples and dazzling orange hues.
In Australia, Easter celebrations take place in a variety of ways. Rich Easter customs in Australia are a result of mingling of people of different cultures.