1. From now on when asked ‘when is Easter this year?’ you can reply knowingly that Easter Sunday falls the Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. Should clear it up no end.
2. ‘Sunshine’ is the big movie release this Easter weekend. It is a great watch, bounding at white knuckle pace from thrilling sci-fi to Galaxy Quest type science that has even luddites like me frowning and ultimately a hoky ending. Its fair to say there are few new ideas in this movie but it was still great viewing, a real visual experience and a good adventure at times. Afterwards give some thought to the influences – Alien, 2001, Solaris. Having a quiet weekend, there is always the option of renting ‘The Squid and the Whale’, the first entry in the Dossing Times DVD Club. See below.
3. Since its conception as a holy celebration in the second century, Easter has had its non-religious side. In fact, Easter was originally a pagan festival. The ancient Saxons celebrated the return of spring with an uproarious festival commemorating their goddess of offspring and of springtime, Eastre. When the second-century Christian missionaries encountered the tribes of the north with their pagan celebrations, they attempted to convert them to Christianity. They did so, however, in a clandestine manner.
It would have been suicide for the very early Christian converts to celebrate their holy days with observances that did not coincide with celebrations that already existed. To save lives, the missionaries cleverly decided to spread their religious message slowly throughout the populations by allowing them to continue to celebrate pagan feasts, but to do so in a Christian manner.
As it happened, the pagan festival of Eastre occurred at the same time of year as the Christian observance of the Resurrection of Christ. It made sense, therefore, to alter the festival itself, to make it a Christian celebration as converts were slowly won over. The early name, Eastre, was eventually changed to its modern spelling, Easter.
4. We all ought to be aware that 12, 000 children caught up in the slave trade on the Ivory Coast are those picking the cocoa beans to make your Easter Egg. Consider buying Fairtrade chocolate or Tesco own brand, one of the Fairtrade sanctioned brands.
5. Speaking of Easter Eggs, they do have another connotation, they also describe hidden features stored on DVDs and video games. Filmmakers who take pride in their output, giving more than vanilla DVDs usually give up some time to putting in some extra footage, scenes or bloopers. The sites, eeggs.com and dvdeastereggs.com are two of many sites cataloguing such eggs so have a look and you’d never know what extra material has been sitting on your shelves.
6. Finally, a note on Easter Island. Located over 2,000 miles from the nearest population center, (Tahiti and Chile), it is one of the most isolated places on Earth. A triangle of volcanic rock in the South Pacific - it is best known for the giant stone monoliths, known as Moai, that dot the coastline. The early settlers called the island "Te Pito O Te Henua" (Navel of The World). Admiral Roggeveen, who came upon the island on Easter Day in 1722, named it Easter Island. Today, the land, people and language are all referred to locally as Rapa Nui. The place is subject to much speculation and controversy, the origins of the people living there, its own bloody history before Western Civilisation arrived and the construction of the statues subject to every possible theory including extra terrestrial involvement.