|Thoughts on Easter, US vs. UK style
||[Apr. 12th, 2009|07:21 pm]
I don't know why all these observations about how different Easter is here vs. in the UK have only struck me this year. After all, this is our 10th Easter in the States!
1) In the UK, everybody gets Good Friday and Easter Monday off work. It's a 4 day weekend and second only to Christmas in terms of big national holidays - much in the same way that Thanksgiving is here. For that reason it's a big UK holiday in terms of traveling home to see family - even if it means long car drives/flights. My stepsister and her family have driven almost 300 miles to spend Easter with my dad and stepmom, for instance. Here I see that people tend to spend the holiday with family if they are within a short driving distance (maybe 1-2 hours), but you're not so apt to fly or spend all day in the car - you'd do that at Thanksgiving instead.
2) The Easter Bunny is an entirely US phenomenon. You won't find a man dressed up in a giant bunny costume and a line of kids in new outfits waiting to have their picture taken with him in any British mall. I guess that's why I haven't succumbed to it yet - the whole idea is a bit odd to me!
3) The traditional Easter dinner is roast lamb, not ham.
4) Egg hunts are unheard of in the UK.
5) We wouldn't dye eggs either.
6) I never had a new Easter dress that I remember - that wasn't a tradition I was aware of, at any rate.
7) I felt badly this morning when Amy presented Abby with an Easter gift (crocs and a lollipop with a cute card) - apparently I missed the memo that you should get an Easter gift for your godchildren, because I got nothing for Caitie or the Judson boys. :( Sorry Amy! As reinforcement of this, JJ didn't get anything from his (British, committed Christian) godparents, so it must be a cultural difference.
8) No baskets of goodies in the UK on Easter morning. The traditional gift there is a hollow chocolate egg. When we were kids we'd get maybe 3 or 4 (from parents, grandparents and anyone else who was visiting) and we'd ration them out to last a week or two. It was one of the few occasons in the year when I was allowed chocolate (the others being Christmas and birthdays). But we certainly never got DVDs, toys or other stuff that appear to be common Easter gifts here. I wondering if this may be a generational thing (are kids in the UK getting baskets these days?) or just representative of the increasing commercialization of all holidays?