Tuesday 26 April 2011

The making of traditions...

Easter is not celebrated in Japan, it hasn't caught on yet unlike Christmas and Halloween, it is only a matter of time until they realise it includes cute chocolates and then they will be all over it!
 I think it is important that Ebi-kun learns about my culture and traditions as much as it is to learn about the Japanese ones. I never did egg hunting as a kid but we started at the playgroup a few years back and now it is one of the highlights of the year and for the kids in the group it isn't so much about the chocolate (due to the lack of Easter egg availability). For us it is the egg decorating which also gives us a time to discuss the meaning of Easter, we are not a religious family but I do want him to know what it is all about. We always meet at the same park, each child is required to bring 10 decorated (boiled) eggs and a basket for collecting. Last year the big kids raced in and found most of the eggs whilst the little ones only found one or two so we thought we should make it a bit more difficult this time so all the kids had their name or special mark on their eggs and were only allowed to collect the ones with their name on it. 
 It was a little more subdued than last year, there were also quite a few families missing but the kids all enjoyed it.
 After the egg hunt I organised a treasure hunt, the kids are older now and some of them are reading so they got give a clue and they had to figure out the person/character from the clue, for example..

I like to wear green.
I can fly.
My enemy is Captain Hook.
My best friend is Tinkerbell.

When they had figured out the answer they had to go to each adult and ask 'are you Peter Pan?' The adults all had envelopes with a name on the front and a clue in it, if they had the correct name they could hand the clue over to the kids.
 The final clue was a map of the park with the clue 'The big squirrel holds the treasure' so they had to go and find this statue, daddy-ebi was standing guard and said lots were taking photos of it because the squirrel was holding a basket.
 All the kids got a lolly pop and these plastic bubbles (I wanted normal bubbles but none to be found). It comes with a small tube of liquid that you dollop on the end of the straw then blow up. It was the first time many of the kids (and adults) had used it so it was a lot of fun.
 Not everyone was big enough to join the hunt, some were happy just to lie back and look at the pretty trees. - our youngest member, 3 months old.
When you are living as an ex-pat, sometimes you just have to make your own traditions!
What do you do for Easter or if you are not Christian do you celebrate something else around this time of year?


  1. Well, we're in the opposite position. My husband is the Japanese ex-pat living in the US, and we usually end up celebrating my traditions (which are closer to American traditions). He only makes an effort for some of the Japanese holidays - like oshougatsu, kid's day, hina matsuri, and of course we're planning on dressing up and having pictures taken for her shichi-go-san celebrations.

    For Easter though, we ended up with a very subdued tradition. It just doesn't feel the same to me, without my family around and with him being so un-Christian.

    Next year I hope to get more into the spirit of Easter.

  2. I definitely agree about making your own traditions for your own family- even if you are in your home country or not.

    Looks like a fun day! Next year I want to go to an Easter party with the boys- Noah did a bit of an egg hunt this year (plastic eggs that had easter eggs, raisens,

    We always got books as gifts at Easter (as well as chocolate- my father used to hide over 200 mini eggs for us to find) and that is definitely something I want to do for the boys as they get older. At the moment I just buy books for them willy nilly as I LOVE books and want them to have heaps but will eventually have to start limiting myself- otherwise we will run out of space!!!!

    Happy belated Easter!


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