Sydney Easter Parade and Family Day director Ben Irawan said from this year, the parade would brand itself as a “mardi gras for Christians”. Report in the Weekend Australian March 2nd, 2018.
Any move to get Christians out into the community to share the GOOD NEWS of Easter – JESUS IS RISEN and HE IS COMING BACK TO RULE & REIGN should be applauded and supported.
Ben said, “they expect 10,000 people to march and dance through the city on Easter Monday and they were out to reclaim the Christian origins of the celebration. We don’t want to oppose or contend with the gay mardi gras, but I want Christians to be able to celebrate and take some ownership of what was originally a Christian feast day before lent,” he said.
This Sunday March 4th, about 15,000 people are expected to take part in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary and is expected to draw more than 300,000 spectators.
Mardi gras, or “Fat Tuesday” traces is origins to medieval Europe, passing through Rome and Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries to the French House of the Bourbons. From there, it followed France to its colonies, and became most famous in New Orleans, first as an elegant society ball and then as the colourful, voodoo-infused parade of today.
Mr Irawan said the Easter mardi gras was open to Christians of all denominations, as well as non-Christians who wanted a fun and colourful family day out.
“We have giant inflatables, things like Noah’s ark and letters spelling ‘HOPE’ 4m high,” he said. We have marching bands, dancers, colourful costumes. So it really is a mardi gras already, but we want to make the connection more strongly.”
Mr Irawan, a marketing and events expert, is also the pastor of Life Centre International church in Sydney and Wollongong, as well as senior strategy adviser in NSW for Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives.