EDITORIAL – On this holiday: Happy Easter, Cayman Islands!

Is there any place more joyful than the Cayman Islands at Easter?

Everywhere we go, we are reminded of renewal, rebirth and rejuvenation. We look forward to the many Easter traditions celebrated in our country, reaffirming our connections to the sea, nature, family, friends and neighbors, and our Creator.

These valuable connections are nourished through the sharing of traditional foods, both native to Cayman and “imported” from elsewhere – such as grilled meat and seafood, bun and cheese, or the elaborate feasts prepared for Easter brunch.

The connections are confirmed over campfires, as families flock to our beautiful beaches for Easter camping from Barkers to North Side, and everywhere in between.

They are ratified in prayer and song, as congregations gather in our churches to celebrate their faith and Jesus’ resurrection.

This weekend also marks the beginning of Passover, during which Cayman’s Jewish community will celebrate the Israelites’ freedom from slavery in ancient Egypt, just as they have – in one way or another – for nearly 3,000 years.

Whether they have originated in Cayman or any of the 100-plus countries our community hails from, our traditions are handed down with care and love through generations. These traditions can be seemingly ubiquitous, such as dying hard-boiled eggs and hiding them for children to “hunt.” They can be specific to one family or neighborhood. Like our society, traditions can change and evolve over time, even as they remain faithful to the spirit that defines them.

Over the long Easter weekend, captains and crew will man the decks for the Cayman Islands Sailing Club’s 52nd annual Easter Regatta Round the Island Race.

Many of us will take part in newer “traditions,” such as browsing through the brightly colored pavement creations during Chalkfest at Camana Bay.

Others will refamiliarize themselves with traditions that are being revived by pride in Cayman’s cultural heritage – for example, reveling in the Caymanian tradition of kite flying at Kaibo’s Kitefest.

Our religious sanctuaries will be filled for services over the long weekend, not just on Sunday. Our beaches will teem with swimmers and campers, and the smell of barbecue will permeate the sea breeze.

Leading up to Easter Sunday, the Easter bunny will make appearances at many of Cayman’s larger hotels. Children will scramble for surprises at Easter egg hunts hosted by local businesses and clubs. And, of course, many individual families will have egg hunts of their own in their yards or houses.

On Easter itself, Cayman’s children will wake up early, hoping for a “special delivery” of chocolate, candy and other treats before putting on their “Sunday best” and heading out to church, Sunday brunch and/or any number of family oriented activities. Many people may choose to celebrate in a more relaxed fashion – perhaps involving a hammock and lemonade.

There will be plenty of events for everyone over the long weekend and the week ahead. The Friday and Monday business holidays will provide plenty of time for camping, sunbathing or snoozing.

Whatever you do, and however you celebrate, everyone here at the Compass wishes you a joyous Easter and a happy spring.