An Ode to the Easter Bank Holiday, the Greatest Partying Weekend of the Year
It's hard being a Brit abroad at this time of year.
Photo of a bunny drinking a pint by Kevin O'Mara/Flickr.
As a Brit living in America, most of the things I miss about home revolve around comfort food. Bourbons, custard creams, digestives—in fact, just all biscuits (by which I mean cookies), because the cookies here just don't pair well with tea—which I drink all the time because I am from England. It's too cliché for me to hark on about how the tea itself—again, I'm British—is also a travesty, so I won't. But know that it really is an abomination.
But this week I'm reminded of something that I, hand over biscuit-shaped heart, long for more than anything else. The Easter Bank Holiday Weekend. Spanning Good Friday to Easter Monday, the bank holiday is the British equivalent of a US Federal holiday, just with a slightly more twee name. It's time off work for arcane, often vestigially religious reasons that we choose not to think about too much.
For your average Briton, the Easter Bank Holiday weekend is glorious. I mean, of course it is. It's four days off work in the middle of spring when the sun finally comes out and the supermarkets are stuffed with chocolate delights. But the reason I love it is because it's secretly the greatest clubbing weekend of the year. It's 96 hours of no professional or personal responsibilities, (relatively) good weather, and countless parties to hop between. It's the unofficial start of the festival season, and in true British spirit, there's often a collective effort to get utterly sloshed with your friends.
For non-religious, urban types like my family, Easter weekend comes with little to no pressure. It isn't Christmas, you don't have to return to the familial bosom. It's the rare lengthy holiday that allows you to spend time with friends in sweaty dark clubs.
And the promoters know this too. I scrolled through the RA listings for London over the weekend and my heart ached when I saw the number of events going down. Sure, most weekends in London have plenty going on, but it's rare to have a Romanian minimal night (shoutout to my other cultural heritage!), a Discwoman party at Corsica Studios, The Black Madonna headlining XOYO, and a garage and breaks party thrown by Uruguayan selector Nicolas Lutz, all on the same weekend.
In years gone by, one of my Easter traditions involved dropping into fabric at some point over the weekend. The iconic club goes all out over Easter and this year is no exception with the Underground Resistance, Kate Simko, and Soul Clap all on the stacked bill. Given the turbulent few months the club had at the end of 2016, this year's Easter weekender is surely going to feel like a rebirth for the venue.
And those are just the parties being advertised. London's nightlife trademark, or at least as I knew it living there a couple of years ago, is the grotty house party. Making the most of the fact that lots of twenty-somethings live in actual, multi-story houses (sometimes with little gardens!), there are plenty of makeshift clubs going down in people's living rooms.
The seasoned bank holiday raver will hit up a few select clubs and parties on the Friday and Saturday nights and then drag their hangovers to a boozy barbecue on the Sunday (remember, people in England have gardens) that inevitably bleeds into Monday. But it doesn't even matter because you still have another day to do any adulting you might need to get on with. Or you can just sack it off and go to the park to chill with your mates, because in the UK drinking in the great outdoors is legal.
And then there are the treats. Because with me, it always comes back to refreshments. You have your classic Easter-themed confectionary: mini eggs, creme eggs, Lindt bunnies. A heady cocktail of sugary snacks to fuel you in between parties. But the real magic of Easter are the hot-cross buns—baked sweet rolls with raisins and icing drizzled on top in a cross-shape that are supposed to be eaten on Good Friday to mark the end of Lent. But toasted and smeared with butter and served with warm, milky tea, they're the ideal sacrilegious hangover breakfast that tops off a perfect weekend of clubbing.