Student life

Easter in Australia is celebrated in many ways in Australia

by Sally L Watkins Tuesday March 30th 2021

Easter in Australia is celebrated in many ways in Australia-easter

Easter is my favourite holiday. It's usually beautiful weather, there is lots of chocolate to be eaten and 4-5 days off means a trip down the south coast NSW to camp.

Going camping at Easter was a family tradition with my parents and siblings, and one I continue with my partner. But when I was a kid, Easter meant my grandparents would visit us in Sydney, and we would all head off for two days of visiting the Royal Easter Show. 

My grandparents were from the country and had been farmers, so the highlight of the agricultural calendar was the Show. It was held in the city back then and was far less commercial than it is now.

Easter is one of the holidays that most Australians enjoy.

Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are public holidays, most people with a break from Friday through to Tuesday.

Most people in Australia celebrate the Easter holidays.

Easter, like Christmas, has become less about religion and more about a short break and chocolate. But generally, it's a time to spend with family and friends.

Whether you attend the Royal Easter show, splurge on chocolate eggs, attend a church service or enjoy an extra-long weekend, Easter means a four-day break.

Things to do at Easter

For Christians, Easter is a time to attend church services and take the opportunity for self-reflection and spiritual renewal.

This time reflects Easter's springtime origin and the sense of new growth that comes with the season.

One of the most popular things to do for Easter in NSW is to attend the Royal Easter Show.

The Royal Easter Show is a celebration of Australian culture, particular celebrating our rural traditions. You can see all kinds of farm animals, horse shows, kids carnivals, and the show's icon for kids - the Sample Bag. Although the sample bag tradition started as small samples of products provided by show stands, it is now very commercialised.

Another popular tradition over the long weekend is camping as the weather is usually nice and the last chance to spend time outdoors before the winter season.

The ABC has put together a handy rundown of alternative accommodation options at Easter to enjoy with family or friends.

Egg hunts are a common tradition for children, delivered by the mythical Easter bunny or bilby is actually involves parents hiding eggs in parks or backyards.

Hot cross buns are another popular tradition at Easter time in Australia is enjoying hot cross buns. Sweet, spiced buns are made with dried fruit and served warm with butter.

Are shops open at Easter?

Good Friday is a public holiday where most businesses are closed, including major supermarkets.

You will need to stock up on supplies whether you are staying home or planning a trip away.

What is Easter?

For Christians, Easter is a time to reflect on spiritual matters.

Christians commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Easter also marks the end of the 40 days of prayer and fasting, known as Lent. During Lent, Christians maintain strict dietary rules and may not eat lamb, beef, chicken, pork, venison. Fish is popular at this time.

Lent celebrates the biblical story of Jesus Christ 40 days in the wilderness.

As with most religions that supplant another, some symbols and practices remain in the culture, and Easter Eggs and Rabbits have remained.

Easter originates from Pagan Spring festivals, celebrating rebirth and fertility and the coming of Summer, pre-dating Christianity or the birth of Jesus Christ.

Decorated eggs were given as gifts during Easter in 19th century Russia.

Greeks Orthodox Christians bake a red coloured egg into bread.

The Easter eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ, and the hard shell of the egg symbolising the sealed Tomb of Christ. The cracking of the eggs symbolises his resurrection from the dead.

Recently, Australia has created its unique Easter symbol - the Bibly.

As Biblys are now an endangered native species - buy a chocolate bilby where the proceeds go to the conservation of this gorgeous animal.

When is Easter celebrated?

Easter falls on the Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. However, Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate often at a slightly different time due to their adherence to the Julian Calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar, which is widely used by most countries today. Great Britain changed to the Gregorian calendar in 1752.

This means Easter can occur anywhere between mid-March and mid-April. This year, Easter Sunday falls on 4 April, at the end of Holy Week, which celebrates holy days like Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday.

Eastern Orthodox Easter falls on 2 May this year.