Easter is a major religious Christian festival observed throughout the world. While marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it also welcomes the spring season. The occasion is celebrated with great joy, zeal and enthusiasm throughout the world and New Zealand is no exception. Easter in New Zealand is known by the Easter bunny. Though the festival is celebrated to commemorate Jesus Christ's resurrection, for Kiwis Easter is all about chocolate eggs and bunny rabbits. For most of them, the festive occasion calls for a long lovely weekend with lots of treats and holidaying. Easter falls in autumn in New Zealand, since it lies in the Southern Hemisphere. Read through the following lines to know more about Easter traditions and celebrations in New Zealand.
Easter Celebrations In New Zealand
Most of the retail stores and hospitality industries are closed on either Good Friday or Easter Sunday as it is considered illegal for them to be open on these religious occasions. The Kiwis are required to attend church services to celebrate the death as well as the resurrection of Jesus Christ and stay back home with their family over the Easter weekend. However, in the modern New Zealand, people use the weekend for socializing with friends, shopping and planning weekend getaways.
New Zealand celebrates Easter in autumn, a time when the leaves fall from the trees, the days get shorter and the nights turn colder. Add to this a lifeless mourning garden and some would surely be wondering about the sad state of affairs in New Zealand on this "spring festival". However, the dull, lifeless autumn does not stop the Kiwis from celebrating Easter. Cards, emails and gifts can be seen boasting pictures of daffodils, yellow baby chickens and rabbits, of course. The markets and stores are jam-packed with hot cross buns and chocolate Easter eggs and bunny rabbits.
New Zealand's largest and most varied family festival, The Royal Easter Show is held every year in Auckland over the Easter weekend. It includes thrill seeking rides, carnival stalls, candy floss, hotdogs and A&P Show. Unlike Europe, New Zealand does not follow the tradition of painting eggs and decorating trees and gardens for the festival. However, Easter egg hunts are organized for kids on a large scale. Apart from the traditional prayers, fasting and repentance of Lent, the Kiwis also indulge in preparing various seasonal and symbolic Easter delicacies. The tasty hot cross buns are the favorites among the Easter foods in New Zealand.
The Easter bunny is mainly associated with Easter in New Zealand. Read on to know about Easter rituals and celebrations in New Zealand.