Year: 80s to Early 2000s (Easter Time)
Place: St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
It’s almost Easter!!
I loved Easter Time growing up in the islands. Why?
Easter Back Home (St. Thomas)
Easter meant that we were out of school from Holy Thursday to Easter Monday. What kid didn’t love an extended weekend with no school? A five day weekend meant 3 extra days of getting into stuff, playing outside, and most importantly — NO SCHOOLWORK OR HOMEWORK (unless you had mean teachers).
The only downside was that it usually meant that you were in church all day on Easter Sunday. My grandmother would make sure we all had our dresses ready in bright pink, green, purple, or anything pastel and shiny.
All the women in church always had on their best from head to toe. The hats were all lined up in church on an Easter Sunday. Plus, the church was always more packed than it usually was any other Sunday.
My grandmother attended Church of God of Prophecy. I always remember it as the church right before you turn to go Donoe. We would have to get dressed and wait very early to catch the church bus when it came in front of her building in Ras Valley.
I always remember the bus being extra crowded on these days with children being shipped off to Sunday School on Easter Sunday. The upside for going to church that day was that they always had a big Easter Egg Hunt on the side lawn for us to find eggs filled with candy and small toys. Those church days were the best.
Easter in the States
I was in for a big shock when I moved to Georgia. My first Easter was coming around and here I was expecting a long weekend, time to prep for cooking and church, and getting the kids (my younger cousins) ready to have some fun. BOY WAS I WRONG!!
Here’s what Easter did not mean in the states life…….
- You don’t get Thursday off because not many states recognized Holy Thursday (WHAT!? One less day to celebrate.)
- There was no long weekends with no school or work, unless it was also Spring Break Week (WAIT WHAT!? NO, Zero, Zip amount of days off to celebrate!!)
- Coworkers did not recognize that some islanders observed Good Friday by not eating beef or chicken. (There goes potluck Friday!!)
I still made the best of shorter Easter Weekends by spending time with my family and continuing old traditions like church on Easter Sunday and setting up Easter Egg Hunts for the kids. We always had a good time, without the extra time off that we were used to.
But in these times I always think about home and how differently we celebrated over the Easter holidays. Those are just some of the things I reminisce on when I’m thinking about that old island life. But back to work I go because HEY, today ain’t no holiday!! LOL!!
What are some of your holiday traditions that you still celebrate with your family even though it’s not as common where you moved to? Share them in the comments.