Many Christians bemoan the cultural expressions of Christianity, or the cultural alternatives to Christian holidays. The Easter bunny takes center stage, and the passion and resurrection of Jesus is sometimes seen as an afterthought.
Easter bonnets, new dresses, a ham feast with family, and other things are all part of our cultural heritage. They were all part of how I grew to celebrate Easter as a child (within the context of a Christian family). Living in Mexico has allowed me to see a little of how another culture has shaped the holiday.
In Mexico, there is no Easter bunny. Easter candy has been creeping onto shelves, but is for the most part uncommon. I often am questioned about the origin of Easter eggs and the Easter bunny. In our experience, the cultural celebration of Easter has taken a very traditional religious form.
Good Friday is celebrated much more than Resurrection Sunday. As I blogged about before, Mexico is the home to the largest passion play in the world. Even the evangelical churches have little celebration on Sunday, opting instead for special Good Friday services where the topic of the sermon is almost always the last words of Christ on the cross.
The Baptist Church we attend had a sunrise service Sunday at 6 am, but the other services were “normal.” If you don’t attend the sunrise service, there is very little mention of the fact that it is even Resurrection Sunday. There is no sign of “dressing up”; no little girls in Easter bonnets or new frilly Easter dresses. Easter Sunday is just another day, while Good Friday is the cause of religious celebration.
This is the cultural expression of the holiday that we have here in Mexico. While it doesn’t take the form of bunnies and candy, it does affect the worldview of the people to whom we (and our students) are ministering.
We hope you had a great Easter season. We hope that you can live everyday celebrating the triumph of Christ over the grave. We hope that the celebration of Resurrection Sunday will continue to be a daily reality in your life.
Check out Janell’s thoughts on Easter in Mexico here (Our Easter Plans).
(Image by: JolieNY on flickr)