At work and at play | Easter is here but where is spring?

Somehow the first few months of 2013 have slipped by and Easter is already here. Normally Easter reminds us of the onset of spring: daffodils in the parks, longer days, newborn lambs and bunnies, and the end of the cold dark winter. This year winter seems to be dragging on more than ever, and it is hard to imagine that spring really is coming when the temperature drops below freezing every night.

Although we live in a fairly non-religious society, it is impressive how the Danes make the most of Easter. Three national holidays are matched only by Christmas. In the UK, where we used to live, there were just two national holidays at Easter. And in France, there is just one. As you can imagine, Easter in Japan, where we lived ten years ago, is not celebrated at all. Instead they have ‘Shunbun no Hi’ (Vernal Equinox Day) on or around 20 March as a day for the admiration of nature and the love of living things. Of course, this is the essence of Easter: to celebrate the arrival of spring and the promise of months of warm and long days.

At our preschool we explain the changing seasons to the children, and we will do traditional things such as paint eggs and hold an Easter egg hunt. We are also going to take things a step further with our purchase of an egg incubator and some fertilised eggs. We will show the chicken eggs to the children, and we will be able to watch them hatch and then raise the little chicks. Exciting times! And once the chicks are too large for us to cope with, we will send them to a local farm where they will know how to care for them properly. Hopefully this will reinforce the themes of birth, life and rejuvenation that come with Easter and the arrival of spring. Now all we need is for the weather to get warmer!

So this Easter, enjoy the five days off work that Denmark generously gives us, and hopefully we can wish this long winter a final fond farvel! God Påske!