It's Easter Sunday in Trinidad. The Trinidadians take their holidays seriously. Banks, shops, the boatyard, etc. were closed on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, plus today, Easter Sunday, and they'll be closed again tomorrow, Easter Monday. The other day, I asked a young woman in the boatyard office, a native Trinidadian and a woman of color, if the Easter Bunny comes to Trinidad and how she planned to celebrate. She said “No bunnies here. I'm going to sleep for four days. That's what you do on holiday.”
I later spoke with Tammy, owner of the B&B we'd stayed at. She's a Syrian who has lived in Trinidad for 50 years. She's a devout Catholic and planned to spend the holiday with her son and his family. She participates in all the Easter and pre-Easter religious and secular celebrations. She got her palms on Palm Sunday and bought Cadbury chocolate bunnies for her grandkids. She'd baked hot cross buns in anticipation of a big, traditional Easter Sunday ham dinner. She'd celebrate Good Friday in church and attend Easter Mass on Sunday with her family. The local mall, she informed me, had an Easter fashion show and local children would participate in an Easter parade, sporting their newly created Easter hats.
We listened to the Chaguaramas cruiser's net and other than announcing the weekly Sunday dominos game, there was not much going on to celebrate Easter. Winter and spring are dry here. April showers do not bring May flowers. We're told there's really not much noticeable change in this hot, humid weather until the end of May when the rains come … then it's hot and rainy.
I remember other Easters aboard. One time we were in Ecuador on the hard. I colored and decorated eggs with my Swedish friend, Ulla aboard Lovina. We gathered all the cruisers together on Easter Sunday for a huge potluck dinner and the marina accommodated us by setting up tables and chairs in the parking lot. Another Easter, we were sailing to the Galapagos and I cooked a canned ham en route. Yet another year, we were in a secluded anchorage in New Zealand's South Island by ourselves and ate mussels and fish. In Australia, there were chocolate bilbies, not bunnies. Down under, Easter represents the beginning of the austral autumn/winter season … not as joyous as the advent of spring.
We have always found a way to celebrate Easter. Though we're not religious folks, we do acknowledge the change of seasons and the coming of Spring, even if the change is negligible where we are. We remember the long, cold, hard winters growing up in Massachusetts and Colorado and the absolute joy (and relief) that Spring had finally arrived … even though there was still two feet of snow on the ground. We remember the thrill of waking to find Easter baskets on the kitchen table and later, the fun we had with our kids on Easter morning with scavenger hunts for eggs and treats.
So what's on our agenda for the day? We've only been back a few days and we're still learning our way around. Our fridge is not working (GRRRR!), so no shopping in advance for Easter dinner fixin's. But we've seen lots of old friends here and perhaps it'll be a good day for a cruiser get-together … a day for sharing adventures and tall tales and cold beer and just maybe … chocolate bunnies.