Lunar Observer records upcoming dates of interest: holidays, birthdays, best day to cut hair.
This Sunday (April 16) is Easter, which is an annual holiday in which we celebrate a possibly nonfictional character who was killed by police and then came back to life. And I'm not talking about Frankenstein again, I'm talking about popular savior and erstwhile swearword Jesus H. Christ, whose threat was neutralized by government agents sometime around this week, sometime around 33 A.D.
A great thing about Easter is that the particulars are too gory to use in decorations, so everyone just hangs up brightly colored blobs and pictures of happy ducks. Also there's no “official” Easter music to be annoyed by — the closest thing to Easter music is just the sound of birds chirping! And even better, it isn't even a Christian holiday, really — lots of people around the world have a festival of resurrection around this time of year, for pretty obvious reasons (the seasons). Christianity just has the strongest association with it at the moment. Regardless of your belief, Sunday is going to be a nice day (in a long line of nice days) to give people chocolate, hide eggs, and wear floral prints and pastel colors.
My Easter tradition of many years is (if you'll allow me a moment of immodesty) very enjoyable, and anyone can participate — there are no identity or belief requirements. You get a couple people together, you get scratch tickets and candy bars, you go to a parking lot, and do vodka shots. It sounds bleak and scummy, and honestly it is, but so is waking up in a cave after being fatally mangled. And similarly, if this was your regular existence (scratch tickets with vodka OR the waking up mangled thing), you need to change what you're doing. That's not healthy.
The elements of this tradition are fairly straightforward and easy to describe. Vodka shots on Easter was someone's family's tradition, sorry out there but I forget who. If you don't drink alcohol it's ok to sub in any herbal tincture or a very cold club soda — anything adult, fundamentally unpleasant, and vaguely medicinal, but casual. Being outside is a no-brainer for a springtime tradition, and I'm sorry but even if it rains you have to do it. The location (parking lot) was chosen for its accessibility and liminal nature, in between death (the store) and life (the street). Scratch tickets was my innovation, because there's a digging aspect (the scratching of it off) and then more often than not, the tomb is empty. It works well with the resurrection theme.
A great thing about Easter is that the particulars are too gory to use in decorations
It's traditional to lose on the scratchers, but if you win, that's okay too. DO spend or give away any money you win immediately, or else it's bad luck. DON'T try to tip the guy at 7-11, or it'll be super awkward, and will set back your slowly evolving friendship with the 7-11 cashier by several months. Oh yeah, and I don't know why, but don't bring the vodka back inside afterwards — pour out whatever you didn't drink and stash the empty somewhere.
This isn't the strangest Easter custom by far — folk traditions for Easter and the week preceding it (Holy Week) can include whipping a fish, wearing your shirt inside out, stealing firewood, hiding salt, wearing masks, forcing sleeping people to smell a dead crow, watching a murder mystery, moving fire, eating ham.... The font of twisted Easter traditions is endless and fascinating.
The best movie about Easter (and April Fool's Day) is the original Wicker Man starring Christopher Lee. Do not watch the remake.