What are you doing this Easter Sunday?
Easter is, by tradition, a celebration of sacrifice and resurrection. It is one of the most important religious holidays observed, yet the way people spend it has changed over the years. This year, I am happily celebrating Easter weekend with my boyfriend and his family. I have also been indulging in copious amounts of chocolate, as this seems to be an integral part of western Easter tradition. In fact I’ve taken this tradition to heart so much that I’ve been eating chocolate for a week now! What can I say? When in Rome.
In the Philippines, one of the highlights of Easter is going to the scorching hot provinces to watch the Senakulo, an event where men walk the streets whipping their backs and reenacting the suffering of Christ, with some even agreeing to be hammered to a cross. I’ve never liked this tradition. I’ve always thought that this grand show of faith through unnecessarily self-inflicted harm is contradictory to the idea that you should respect your body as God’s temple. That’s just really not very consistent, isn’t it?
While I’m not one for overly religious traditions, i’m not one for treating the holiday devoid of solemnity and respect either. I’ve recently voiced out my irritation over Filipinos who use the holiday to flaunt their religion in the dumbest ways. If I see one more church selfie or an I’m-better-than-you-cause-I-went-to-church-post I will scream.
Easter means many things to different people. Whether you identify it with vigils and churches, Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs, or beaches and roadtrips – take a moment to take it in and give it your personal meaning.
To me, Easter is not an opportunity for escapism. It is an opportunity for reflection and a celebration of the beauty of life – highs and lows and all. It is a reminder of sacrifice, hope, and redemption. Religious or not, these are important to hold on to. After all, life is a series of these things. We sacrifice a great deal for the people we love. We find challenges along our journey, but forge on.We get through with the love and support of those close to us. And ultimately, we find that after great ordeal always comes some form of redemption – which starts new chapters in our lives.
Whatever Easter is to you, I hope you join me as I raise my glass (or this massive chocolate egg) to us, our struggles, and our new beginnings.