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Springtime Shenanigans: From Pollen Showers to Chocolate Overload - Embracing the Eccentricities of Easter! Canva

Springtime Shenanigans: From Pollen Showers to Chocolate Overload - Embracing the Eccentricities of Easter!

Written by  Mar 31, 2024

Spring is in the air. Ah, spring, that magical time of year when the world awakens from its winter slumber, and everything is suddenly covered in a fine layer of pollen. Yes, because nothing says "renewal" quite like the relentless assault of allergens on your respiratory system.

I didn’t even realise that the first day of the season had been and gone.

I have never understood why the Friday before Easter, or Good Friday as it’s called in the UK, isn’t a public holiday here. Whilst the Brits are enjoying a very long weekend, with both Friday and Monday holidays, we’re left with just the one free day.

It could be argued that in a country that is far more religious than the UK that we should also be enjoying some quality family time. But I guess there are already plenty of days off, so we’ll just make do with the one at Easter.

“Do you paint eggs at Easter like we do,” asked me a local the other day. “We used to, but they have been replaced by a much sweeter version,” I answered.

And an Easter card from my family said it all “Time for chocolate,” was the greeting inside. And yes Easter cards is also a tradition. Real eggs have long been replaced by hollow chocolate ones. So much so that on average 80 million chocolate eggs are sold every Easter in the UK alone.

In 2019 over £200 million was spent on this cocoa confectionery. I guess it could be argued that after the period of Lent that stuffing yourself with chocolate isn’t a bad way to break the fasting.

And on Good Friday we eat “Hot Cross Buns,” basically spiced and sweet buns that are marked with a cross on top, symbolizing the crucifixion of Jesus. So that’s two sweet delights. Yes, Easter in England is a tough time of the year to be on a diet. You could probably compare these buns with pinca.

One thing that we don’t really do is the palm weaving, which is obvious really as palms don’t really enjoy the wet weather on my island. So does that mean with global warming we’ll soon see palm fronds in England as well?

But perhaps the most egg-stravagant tradition of all is the Great British Easter getaway. Like migrating swans, families across the country flock to airports to fly away to warmer climates in search of relaxation and rejuvenation.

As the days get longer, especially with the clocks going forward, this time of the year is symbolical as the start of the tourist season. So we get a day off before thousands of tourists descend this weekend as a certain Irish airline promises to pack our hotels.

The airline that makes you question whether you're flying or participating in a game of budget airline bingo. Who needs frills and fancy amenities when you can have seats that feel like they were designed by a medieval torture enthusiast? Are we ready for the new tourist season? I am not.

I am, or rather I was, quite enjoying the calm before the storm. This last weekend was the first time, for what seems ages, that traffic jams and parking problems raised their ugly heads again. “We’ve got a good seven months of this ahead of us,” I said to my passenger. “This is a light version of what’s on the way,” I smiled.

So, as we bid adieu to the chilly embrace of winter and begrudgingly embrace the unpredictable chaos of spring, let us raise a glass (or a box of tissues) to the season of allergies, awkward wardrobe transitions, and the eternal quest for a free parking space.

Here's to spring – may it be as delightfully frustrating as ever. 

Read more Englishman in Dubrovnik…well, if you really want to

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About the author
Mark Thomas (aka Englez u Dubrovniku) is the editor of The Dubrovnik Times. He was born and educated in the UK and moved to live in Dubrovnik in 1998. He works across a whole range of media, from a daily radio show to TV and in print. Thomas is fluent in Croatian and this column is available in Croatia on the website – Dubrovnik Vjesnik

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