Welcome Home, Easter Bilby!March 30, 2015

One week is not that long, but many of us can't wait for Easter. It's a unique celebration in Australia for one - and only one - reason. It's the autumn season in the Southern Hemisphere.

The bunny is the universal symbol of Easter. In fact, most countries expect a mascot with two long ears. But don't tell it to those who look forward to the Royal Easter Show. This is that time of the year when Australia's best produce are on display. Let's not forget the most beautiful flock of domesticated animals, where a few will bag an award for its outstanding features. However, it's known that rabbits wreak havoc on agricultural crops. So Bilby Easter is our national symbol.

The macrotis are desert dwellers, also known for their long, pointed ears. But this masurpial is a tiny figure, also an endangered species. This is not really the reason why Bibly Easter replaces the Easter Bunny. They are related. (Bilbies are also known as rabbit-bandicoots.) But we want someone (or something) that is truly our own.

Aside from the Royal Easter Show, with Bilby Easter in front of the pack, there are many ways of celebrating Easter in Down Under. Egg knocking has been a hot favourite in many parts. (Shame on you if you're not familiar with the mechanics or even heard about it.) Then there's Pancake Day. Don't be misled, as this isn't similar to the pancake race in England. It's rather about baking and sharing pancakes. (Don't be glum, if you're thinking otherwise. You're not the only one. But there's nothing wrong about organising our very own version of the pancake race.) Let's not forget the Hot Cross Buns, which is rather more traditional. These are some of the items in the long list of activities for this year.

Who knows, someone might come up with something new.

Easter scenes in fiction

Here's an interesting trivia for students. There are lots of Easter scenes in literature. It's understandable if you don't remember one, as coursework can only give you limited time. But this may be the best time to go back to your reading list. Without the pressure.

"Pride and Prejudice" is on the top of the listing. There's nothing surprising about it IF you pay attention to the setting. Jane Austen's celebrated novel is a series of seasons (or events). Many readers may overlook this, as they are impatient about the outcome between Lizzie and Mr. Darcy. Take note that the gentleman made his first proposal during fall. There seems to be a grim message behind it, which is somehow true.

In "Faust", the scholar met Mephistopheles during Easter. Some may find this fateful day to be rather ironic, if they recall the Christian beliefs surrounding Easter Sunday. They may omit the following part, where the angels stop the scholar from killing himself.

Shakespeare's "Richard II" shows Richard of Bordeaux comparing himself to Christ on a Good Friday. It happens before the crown is handed to Bolingbroke. Depositions and murder would follow.

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