RITUALS

Every year I ask myself, “why do I participate in this Pagan fertility festival?  I don’t even believe in those gods.”  But this is the culture I live in, and all the other kids are dancing around the Beltane fires, so mine do too.

 

This year a new twist occurred.  The Easter Bunny arrived on schedule, but instead of hiding the plastic eggs herself, she dropped them off for Tigger to deal with.  Now that she’s 12, Tig feels far more Young Adult than she did at 11.  Not only did she do most of the egg hiding, but she didn’t take advantage of her foreknowledge to grab all the eggs in the morning.  Little Bit was both gratified to be the one to find all the eggs and saddened that her sister now eschews as so-elementary-school some of her favorite activities.

 

Later, Little Bit asked me “Mom, do some people do other special things on Easter, besides looking for eggs and candy and stuff?”

 

“Well, yeah, it’s a Christian holiday…one of the most important ones.  They go to church.”

 

“What’s the holiday about?”

 

“Um, well, it’s when Jesus died.  Christmas is when Jesus was born, Easter is when he died.”

 

Little Bit looked confused.  “If he died, why is it a holiday?”

 

(Oh great, now I’m supposed to explain crucifixion, death, resurrection and salvation?  Isn’t there a Christianity Explained for Heathen Children web site or something? I’d rather talk about where babies come from.)

 

“Welllll, Christians believe that Jesus died to save them.  And that they get to go to heaven because he died.  So they’re thanking him, I guess.”

 

Little Bit still looked confused.  “Being a Christian sounds very complicated.”

 

“Yes, I guess it is.”

 

After the egg hunt, Tigger and Technogeek celebrated Easter by attending Sakura-con, an anime convention.  Think Star Trek dorks dressed in Mr. Spock ears, only at this convention they are dressed like Japanese cartoon characters.  As a result of this current obsession, I now comprehend only about one third of what Tigger says, because her conversation includes so many Japanese words, names, and references.  The whole thing reminds me  of a scene in some TV show I saw a few years back.

 

Teenaged Girl:  You’re reading a comic book?  Aren’t you a little old for that?

 

Teenaged Boy: (looks wounded) It’s not a comic book!  It’s MANGA.

 

And one more thing.  A few days ago, at the local discount store, I saw a big display of Easter dresses for little girls.  Every single one of them a gauzy, sleeveless confection of a garment.  Let me tell you, any little girl who dressed like that in Seattle today arrived at church soaked to the skin and blue with cold.  If you people want little girls to wear summer dresses to Easter events, you ought to move the holiday to July. 


Another one more thing.  Since ModernBunny mentioned the Manga Bible, I thought I would take this opportunity to point out the lolcat bible translation project.  An excerpt:

Boreded Ceiling Cat makinkgz Urf n stuffs

1 Oh hai. In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat maded teh skiez An da Urfs, but he did not eated dem.

2 Da Urfs no had shapez An haded dark face, An Ceiling Cat rode invisible bike over teh waterz.

3 At start, no has lyte. An Ceiling Cat sayz, i can haz lite? An lite wuz.4 An Ceiling Cat sawed teh lite, to seez stuffs, An splitted teh lite from dark but taht wuz ok cuz kittehs can see in teh dark An not tripz over nethin.5 An Ceiling Cat sayed light Day An dark no Day. It were FURST!!

The obvious questions: who ARE these people and WHAT is wrong with them?  Someone has translated the entire bible in this manner.  Why?  WHY?

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19 thoughts on “RITUALS

  1. We live in Laramie, and every easter dress I saw yesterday either looked like it was bought from Christmas clearance, or was covered up with sweaters and coats.  It’s NOT spring here.

  2. Aside from the chocolate bunnies and jellybeans, Easter is a tough one to explain to the kids.  I had a really interesting discussion about it all with my 5 and 7 y.o., who just could NOT understand what was so Good about Good Friday.  After discussing the complexities of christianity, the kids then wanted to know about Passover, which we don’t celebrate but have friends that do.  When we talked about how matzoh is an unleavened bread, I got this question:  “Isn’t matzoh a kind of cheese?  Like MATZOHrella?”  Hee hee.

  3. My kids were a little miffed to discover that the fun parts of Easter were sampled from the pagan holiday Ostara. This coming after Mike asked what the heck Easter bunnies and eggs had to do with Jesus–they’ve been told that story–as He didn’t do anything with either of those things when He came back to life. (And, with my kids being gamers, they asked if Jesus was a zombie or a lich, having come back from the dead. *sigh*)

  4. Well, I mean, not to get all hyper-technical on you, but Easter is when Jesus ROSE from the dead.  Not when he died.  Empty tomb, angel proclaiming the good news, celebration, resurrection, eternal life.  See?  THAT’S why it’s a holiday.  Now, Good Friday, on the other hand, not really that good, since it involved crucifixion, et al.  We went to church for the first time in 2 years.  I’m sure real Christians all over the planet were shuddering with disapproval at my family’s perfidy.

  5. My mother’s tradition was to celebrate the more crass Easter traditions on the first day of spring.  My brothers and I got “spring baskets” several weeks ahead of the other kids – Easter Sunday was church plus dinner at grandma’s with (maybe) some colored eggs.  We’ve continued this tradition in our family with a few small modifications.  Our kids look forward to ham and funeral potatoes, several weeks past the ritual gorging on Cadbury eggs.Technically I think this means that we observe both Easter and the pagan Rite of Spring.  But at least we’re up front about it.

  6. ahhh… the joys of explaining complex beliefs to literal ears! sukura-con had to be fun tho! altho lately, i feel like i should borrow a 12 year old to attend those things!

  7. Yeah, by the end of that excerpt. . .well, that probably should just be the end. Translate any more than that and you have someone with a problem no amount of therapy could possibly help solve. Oy.

  8. @ordinarybutloud – Yes, I was asked “Why is it called Good Friday if Jesus died? It’s not good when someone dies.”  Hard to explain.  Almost as hard as those damn lol cats.  What IS that?  I so don’t get it.  Of course, I don’t get cats, either…..being a dog person.

  9. Ya know, I was just going to take a pass on this one, but I’m back, regarding Little Bit’s questions. Wouldn’t that be something? The cosmic, karmic, irony of the possibilities just tickles me! There is so definitely a sense of humor out there, whether you capitalize it or not. We really are not in charge of where these arrows of our DNA may land, are we? Thanks for sharing.

  10. Our kids went to Catholic school, so they learned plenty about Holy week, and all the stories from the bible and if they didn’t fully understand about Christ’s death and resurrection, it still was pretty cool that He could come back to life, right?    And the belief that he did it for us, to show that he could be human in every way brought him closer to us.    Oh, yes, we had the baskets and eggs and candy too but the family went to Mass together all dressed up because we believed we were visiting Jesus and going to a special meal, the Eucharist.     Of course, after Mass, we came home and had our special family meal of our own too.    It may seem complicated to those who don’t learn about it from the beginning, but the life and death of Christ, his resurrection and the joy that it brings us is a true miracle of faith.I don’t understand your beliefs either, but I respect your right to them and hope they bring you joy too.  

  11. I have been a Christian since 1980 so you would think I would understand a lot by now, but truthfully, there is more I do not understand than there is that I do understand, and I am saying that about my own faith. I have studied world religions, Judaism, Buddhism, but there is plenty I do not understand about those faiths, either. I am not the best Christian in the world, so I take comfort in the thought that Jesus said the most important commandments were to love God with all of your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. When I focus on just those two things, I feel like I can try to do both. The truth is, I often fail to love. But I do try, every day, to LIVE love. In fact, I hope that’s what I leave behind: that people know- really KNOW- that I loved them. Lisa

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