Easter is one of my favorite holidays to look forward to every year. Ever since I was a child, I have always enjoyed Easter more than a lot of other holidays that mark the season. Since moving to Japan, I have come to realize that there is quite a big difference in how Easter is approached in both countries.
In Canada, most children are super excited when they wake up on Easter Sunday morning to notice a trail of colorfully decorated Easter eggs leading from the doorway, all over the house. The Easter bunny, much like the beloved fairy tale characters that deliver special presents or treats overnight, like Santa Claus or the tooth fairy, brings a basket of chocolate treats to houses all over the world and hides them behind furniture, in garden plants, and between bookshelves for children to wake up the next day and hunt for.
Upon moving to Japan, I was happy to find that a similar custom can be experienced, but only within the magical gates of Disneyland. For the past few years, I have participated in the Disneyland Egg Hunt Extravaganza. Disneyland often holds an annual Easter egg hunt in which guests of all ages can participate in to find the variety of eggs that are well hidden and disguised as part of the park’s decorations. You need a sharp eye to be able to spot them, but if you can find them all and mark them correctly on your map, you will be rewarded with a special prize!
In Canada, Easter is often celebrated with a spring feast! A lot of people will have a four-day weekend and spend the day cooking and eating with friends and family. My family often decided to eat a giant delicious turkey or ham each year. These types of grand feasts typically occur a few times a year over Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. However, I think a feast accompanied with a basket full of chocolate sweets in the best way to enjoy the sweet celebration.
The kind of Easter festival food I have found in Japan has been a bit different to what I grew up with. I notice that usually every year, Baskin Robbins will come out with a lineup of Easter flavored treats and ice cream flavors that really put a spring in your step. They come out with rabbit-shaped cakes and yellow baby-chick chocolates that are adorable and tasty.
As for small boutiques and restaurants, they come out with a range of colorful spring and Easter-themed accessories and seasonal treats. I have heard that some schools are now beginning to do some activities to do with Easter and Halloween themes in order to introduce children to foreign culture and customs.
Even though the celebration of Easter is quite different in both countries, it still remains one of my favorite times of year to look forward to. I hope Japan will continue to embrace Easter in its own way, so that we can all enjoy family time and tasty treats together.
beloved (adjective) – to be loved very much
extravaganza (noun) – a spectacular show or event
disguised (adjective) – having an appearance that masks the original form; unrecognizable
a sharp eye (expression) – to be highly skilled at noticing; finding or recognizing something
a spring in your step (expression) – showing that you are feeling happy, confident or enthusiastic or that you are in a good mood