Although Easter depends on the moon and shifts annually in our calendar, hopefully, we can all agree that Easter never falls in December. "That's obvious!" Some of you will say now. When I strolled between the shelves of a supermarket last December, to my surprise, I saw Easter items. Before Christmas! Some conversations with friends showed me that anger is great for many. There was a talk of commercialization and consumption pressure. The sight in the supermarket and the subsequent discussions made me wonder so much that I now feel compelled to share my thoughts with you.
Easter is changing
Cross your heart: What comes first to mind when you think of Easter? For most of you, it might be the Easter bunny, Easter eggs, and chocolate. One or the other is probably still thinking of the resurrection of Jesus. But what do electronics, books, and the fashion industry have to do with this holiday? Right: Originally nothing. For about 10 years we have been changing the Easter holiday with the commercialization so that Easter is today called the second Christmas of the trading. The meanings of the holidays seem to disappear and give way only to commercialization. Even Easter is not immune to this development. The fault is not so much the corresponding dealers, but first and foremost the consumers with their demand. The result of a survey on Easter shopping is all the more contradictory: by far the most respondents state that they are annoyed at 38% if Easter products are already offered several months before Easter¹.
No reason to panic
Despite all the obvious and admittedly rapid changes, there is no need to panic. Easter has always been the subject of change. Here are two examples:
- Originally, at Easter, people gave themselves eggs that symbolized life and birth as early as pre-Christian times. Gradually, the relatively young tradition of gifting itself with Easter eggs and Easter bunnies from chocolate developed. Today, just about every industry benefits from Easter. The fashion industry sells specially designed collections for Easter, booksellers promote books in the Easter basket, electronics retailers sell video games and mobile phones.
- In pre-Christian times, the Easter fire served to expel the winter. The Catholic Church, after some hesitation, adopted this custom and added its own influences. Today, the Easter fire is occasion for special activities with friends and family.
Bright spot for critics
For those who are still critical of developments, at least I have good news. The general self-made trend is particularly noticeable at Easter. 23% of respondents to a survey would be particularly happy about homemade gifts². Online retailers, who do not want to jump on the bandwagon of the commercialization of Easter and fear the loss of importance, offers a possibility in this area.
None of us is forced to participate in the commercialization of Easter. Consumers in particular can set the direction here with their buying behavior. Traders, on the other hand, have less leeway. As it turns out, however, there are business ideas that highlight the original value of the festival. For my part, I will continue to be critical of development, although the thought that changes are normal calms me down. In this sense: Have fun with the egg hunt (or with the new phone)!