The Easter holiday in the Cayman Islands has finally arrived – and not a moment too soon.
The timing of the four-day weekend could not be more fortuitous. The respite it provides will help to fortify Cayman’s population for the pair of upcoming seasons – that is, of political campaigning, and of summer – that will bring with them rising temperatures, in terms of rhetoric and weather.
But all of that is yet to come. For now, the wisest, healthiest and most pleasant course to pursue is one of relaxation and reflection, basking in Cayman’s warm sand and cool water, and also in the presence of family, friends and loved ones.
Many residents will be celebrating this time of “togetherness,” and taking full advantage of what the entire country hopes will be gloriously sunny and breezy conditions, by participating in the popular local tradition of Easter camping on our islands’ beaches.
Perhaps some of our campers, while sitting in the shadow of their tent and listening to the rolling lilt of the waves, will enjoy reading today’s front page story on the origins of the custom in which they are partaking. After making more than a dozen phone calls to local historians and founts of Caymanian knowledge, our journalist Tad Stoner has managed to reconstruct a plausible source of Cayman’s Easter camping tradition, which appears to have grown out of the far older custom of Easter Monday church picnic celebrations.
From relatively modest beginnings, Easter camping in Cayman (as our cartoonist Caymanman likes to parody in his submissions) has developed into a far more elaborate affair. Yes, it is true that some campsites are more like “tent metropolises,” replete with generators, televisions, refrigerators, banquets, beverages and other comforts more usually associated with the home than the beach. (We’re still on the lookout for an in-tent central air-conditioning system!)
We hope and fully expect that campers who read the Compass on the beach will take care to dispose of the newspaper properly, along with all the other leave-behinds that are generated during their “staycations” on our public land. As the old saying goes, “Leave it better than you found it.”
For people who won’t be spending the weekend beneath the stars, there are other upcoming community activities. For example, on Saturday morning, Camana Bay is hosting the annual Chalkfest, where artistic children and adults will turn the pavement in the Market Street area into a broad canvas for colored creations. The event includes entertainment and an artisans market, with admissions proceeds benefitting the National Gallery Outreach Program.
On Monday, there’s the annual Gressy Fishing Tournament in Barkers, and on the other side of Grand Cayman, Webster Memorial United Church is putting on a family fun day at Bodden Town’s Coe Wood Beach, including food, refreshments and an Easter egg hunt.
The Easter bunny, we’re sure, will be visiting many individual homes so families can have their own egg hunts as well.
Of course, beyond the dyed eggs, chocolate and candy, the foundation of Cayman’s Easter observances is spiritual rather than commercial. Most Christian churches identify Easter as the most important period on the religious calendar. (For example, according to a decree dating back to 1215, the Roman Catholic Church mandates that followers receive communion at least once a year, during Easter if possible.)
Meanwhile, members of the Jewish community are observing Passover during this time, from Monday, April 10, through Tuesday, April 18.
Whether you’ll be spending the weekend in a place of religious worship, on the beach, around town or in your own living room, we at the Compass wish you a most happy and peaceful Easter holiday.