1. Easter is a moveable holiday. It is calculated as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the March equinox – I’m glad I don’t have to work that out every year! This means that it can be any time between 22 March and 25 April. This year Easter is particularly early.
2. Traditionally, Easter is a Christian festival, celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Good Friday being the day on which Jesus was crucified, and Easter Sunday the day of his resurrection. It is the culmination of the 40 days of Lent.
3. Many of the things we associate with Easter – bunnies, baby chickens, eggs – relate to ancient concepts of fertility and birth. This makes much more sense in the northern hemisphere, where Easter is in Spring, not Autumn. A celebration of new life at a time when the leaves are falling seems like an unkind joke sometimes!
4. In New Zealand, Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays (with consequent time and a half and alternative days’ leave), and Good Friday and Easter Sunday are restricted trading days (with consequent news stories about floutings of trading bans). If you do have to work, make sure you know your entitlements.
5. In 1916, Irish Republicans rebelled against British rule during Easter week. After six days of fighting, during which there were many casualties on both sides, the rebels surrendered. 14 rebels were executed, and the ‘Easter rising’ heralded a new era of overt opposition to British rule.
6. Apparently, over 90 million chocolate Easter bunnies are made every year – possibly brought on by the fact that 82% of Americans would rather have a chocolate bunny than a real one!
7. Easter Parade (1948), starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire, with music by Irving Berlin, is worth seeing – good holiday entertainment. It doesn’t look like it’s being shown on TV this year, but try your local video hire place…
8. The world’s largest Easter egg was over 7.5m high and was made of chocolate and marshmallow. Weighing just over four tonnes, the egg was supported by an internal steel frame. Now I feel ill.
9. A couple of years ago, we posted a really good hot cross bun recipe – try it.
10. CPIT Library will be closed for five days over Easter, from Friday to Tuesday. But remember, all our electronic resources will still be available. And from Friday to Monday, there will be swipe-card access to the Pod, our 24-hour computer room. Tuesday, you get a break – we’re having electrical work done, and there’ll be no access to the buildings at the Madras Street Campus.