Easter is the most important event in the Christian calendar but in the multicultural society of England it is appreciated by both Christians and non-Christians for the two day Bank holiday it brings. Unlike the two days our government allows us in which to celebrate Christmas, the Easter holidays never bring us a disappointing mid-week break, they always provide us with a four day weekend. A cause for celebration indeed!
Easter arrives quietly, no fanfare, no three month long advertising campaign like the one preceding Christmas costumes. We aren’t urged to eat too much, drink to much, party too much, or do anything at all too much. We are permitted to relax and enjoy family life. There is no pressure to overspend on gifts for everyone from our nearest and dearest to the neighbour’s dog. Compared to the excesses promoted in the name of Christmas, the consumption of chocolate eggs seems a small indulgence.
In England, Easter is the official start of the gardeners’ year and also the time when all DIY enthusiasts, as if driven by some primeval urge, embark upon ambitious projects. If you are not interested in gardening or DIY, you have four whole days free to enjoy as you wish.
Easter is really too early for gardeners to be chancing the lives of tender plants but it is hard to resist the lure of the first real sunny days after the long grey winter. Amateur gardeners take bedding plants from the hothouses and thrust them into soil that’s far too cold to encourage growth. The experienced gardeners won’t gamble on frost free conditions and content themselves with planting the less decorative but frost-proof seed potatoes and onions. Gardening at Easter is an anxious time because the English weather is reliably unpredictable and even the most dedicated gardener is likely to encounter showers heavy enough to dampen his enthusiasm and drive him indoors for a chocolate egg break.