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April 2022 American Life: Easter/Cemeteries

Hello Everyone! 

We are back and getting in the swing of things in the new school year! We have had one full week of lessons and we are happy and excited to see what the new year will bring. The days are heating up and so are we! We are now in the second week of April and at the time of writing Easter is just a week away on April 17.


In Japan some foreign, or western holidays are more well known than others. For example Christmas and Halloween have become quite popular over the years. But the spring Holiday/Festival Easter may not be as well known.   


In this blog post I will very briefly describe what Easter is and how I celebrated it growing up. I believe I covered some of this last year so I will keep my explanations short.


Easter is a Christian  holiday that falls on the first Sunday after a Full Moon date that is after March 21st. This means that Easter is on a different Sunday Every year. But it always falls on a Sunday in March or April. It is a festival to celebrate what Christians believe to be the re-birth of Jesus after he was thought to have been crucified. To signify the re-birth (birth) spring symbols such as eggs, bunnies, flowers, and delicate pastel colors are used.


Last year I went into detail about an Easter Egg hunt. This is when all of my relatives, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents got together for this fun event. This year, though I would like to talk about something else many American families, well at least my family did on Easter; visit the cemetery. 


I am not so sure about Japanese customs regarding visiting the cemetery but growing up we visited the cemetery every year at least on Easter Sunday. We did this in order  to clean the graves and offer prayers to our deceased relatives. In my case it was my grandmother and my great grandmother. Looking back on it I think that there are a few reason why we visit the cemetery on this day. The first reason may have to do with the meaning of the Easter festival itself. Rebirth. This seems like an appropriate and positive time to visit the graves of relatives. There might be another simpler reason. Spring is a time when it isn’t too hot, or cold and there is a wide selection of many beautiful flowers on offer. And lastly, a practical reason. The whole family is usually dressed up for church and everyone is available and together. I can’t speak for other families but Easter to me always meant, egg hunts, chocolate and cemeteries. It seems strange now to think of it in this way but at the time it made perfect sense. 


Thank you for stopping by and Happy Easter!

 

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