What do Humanists do at Easter?
Humanists understand the symbolism of new life that is represented at this time of year by eggs, chicks, and bunnies. We also see the connection that Christians make between them and the Easter story, but we also see much older, and to us, more meaningful connections between these symbols and the arrival of spring.
The name ‘Easter’ derives from ‘Eostre’, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of rebirth. Almost everyone starts to feel happier as the days grow longer and warmer, flowers and leaves begin to emerge, and the birds start to chip and sing again. Our ancestors would, no doubt, have been cold, hungry and have been confined to smoky dark homes for most of the winter. Now with the start of spring, they would have had even more reason to feel happy, and would have enjoyed feasting on the last of their winter stores, and even some fresh food, knowing that there would be plenty more over the summer months.
Even now, people who live in places with harsher and longer winters than ours seem to make more of Easter festivities than we do. Fasting and feasting, as in Lent, derive as much from the rhythms of the seasons as they do from religious tradition.
Humanists may well enjoy Easter eggs, though it probably depends on whether there are children involved, or on how fond an individual is of chocolate. Generally, Humanists celebrate Easter by taking a few days off work, turning off the central heating and opening the windows, cleaning and putting away winter clothes, and doing some gardening.
More people go to garden centres than to church at Easter – not a bad way to reclaim this spring fertility festival.
Maybe you’re having a spring wedding-this year or next? Easter will be the perfect time for you to get out and see what the spring season has to offer for your big day. If you’re having a Spring wedding, have you thought about the different array of flowers you have to choose from? This new season brings us a wealth of fresh colours, fragrances and not to mention choice!