Saturday, April 07, 2007
Happy Chocolate Day
Bilbies are small bandicoots about the size of rabbits. They have long pointy bandicoot noses and big rabbitty ears. For the biologists among you, they are Macrotis lagotis (Greater Bilby) and Macrotis leucura (Lesser Bilby). The word bilby comes from the Yuwaalaraay and Wiradjuri languages of NSW.
They live in the bush in hot dry areas and in wattle groves. They come out at night and eat pretty much whatever they can get their tiny hands on. They live in burrows and carry their young in pouches like kangaroos. The bilby's pouch faces backwards though, to stop it filling up with sand when they dig. (More)
Bilbies are an endangered species. The Easter Bilby is flogged in supermarkets and by Darrell Lea to raise money for bilby rescue. They're endangered mainly because of foxes, feral cats and those bloody rabbits.
Pictures & movies of the Greater Bilby
Fauna (animals) of Australia
What's with the eggs?
So what the fuck does rabbits and eggs have to do with some guy waking up in a cave after he got nailed to a cross?
Long ago and far away (from Australia anyways), in pre-christian times, religious celebrations revolved around the seasons.
In the darkest days of winter (Yule) the last of the preserved fruits and the vegies that weren't quite rotten were eaten up in a big feast to celebrate the spring to come, harvest time (Hallowe'en) was celebrated with corn and pumpkins, summer with dancing about in the sun and getting pissed on the grape crop and spring (Easter) was celebrated with symbols of rebirth and renewal like bunnies which breed a lot in spring and eggs, which are delicious and also symbolic of new life and stuff.
So Easter basically means 'the sun is back and so is the fresh food'. In the northern hemisphere, where the majority of Australia's culture comes from, Easter is in spring. We have it in autumn because it's autumn here when it's spring in the northern hemisphere.
So happy Easter, peeps.