➥ Loading Saint Helena Island Info



Easter Activities

Fishing and camping

Two thousand years ago Jesus is crucified; three days later he walks out of a cave and they celebrate with chocolate bunnies and beautifully decorated eggs.{b}

Easter is a time for outdoor activities


Maundy Thursday Fishing

Easter Fishing

The day before Good Friday everyone seems to be carrying a fishing rod. What’s going on? They’re preparing for Maundy Thursday Fishing.

Why it is a tradition to go fishing in the evening of Maundy Thursday is lost in the mists of time. It might be related to the Catholic practice of eating fish on Fridays, but if so why only go fishing on Maundy Thursday - why not every Thursday? And Catholicism was never that strong on St Helena anyway. The reasons behind it may be lost but the tradition is no less strong for that!

Work finishes at 4pm and then everyone decamps to their favourite fishing spot - maybe the jetty at Ruperts, or The Wharf in Jamestown{2} or maybe to an obscure rock somewhere. Everyone has their favourite spot. For most it’s a family occasion, accompanied by an alfresco supper and more than a little beer! The local police even publish caution notices in the local newspapers:

Maundy Thursday Fishing Safety Advice
Fishing is a great pastime but in order for it to be truly enjoyable you must be safe. Keep these important guidelines and tips in mind for a safe fishing experience.

The fishing continues late into the night. And then, when you’ve caught your fish, it’s time to head off for…camping!


Easter Camping

Thompsons Wood
Thompsons Wood

Camping at Easter is another tradition whose explanation is lost in time. It probably started because travelling abroad was expensive and took a long time, so what else did you do for a short break away-from-home?

The main camping ground has traditionally been on Horse Pasture, a hilltop in the Blue Hill district. People also camp at Thompsons Wood (in Thompsons Valley), also in the Blue Hill district. The tents are pitched in family groups but everyone mixes with everybody else and the result is a large communal party that goes on well into the night - every night until Easter Monday, when everybody crawls home exhausted.

The choice of Easter for this annual camping festival is odd, because it coincides with normally wet weather - the ‘Lent Rains’. As a result, Easter camping can be a somewhat muddy experience. It is not unknown for people to pop home for a hot shower and a dry set of clothes, returning in time for the evening party…

The Horse Pasture land was owned by Solomons and they allowed its use every year as a camping venue with no charge. However, in August 2019 the company sold the land to entrepreneur Paul O’Sullivan for his Trade Winds project. At the time of writing it is not known if he will still permit access and if so on what terms. Whatever he decides, camping further down the road at Thompson’s Wood will remain an option so maybe the primary location will move to there.

If you’re awake at sunrise on Easter Sunday in lower Jamestown you may be surprised to hear Hymns being sung. A group of Christians gathers each year at the top of Jacob’s Ladder to sing in the day. Unfortunately if you are anywhere near the Duke of Edinburgh Playground or Castle Gardens the singing is almost completely drowned out by the Dawn Chorus… (the birds do that every day!)

Read More

Below: Article: Easter and More - an ex-pat viewArticle: Easter Camping

Article: Easter and More - an ex-pat view

Published on the blog standenadventure.blogspot.com 28th April 2014{3}{4}

See ‘ex-pat’ in our Glossary.

We’ve just finished a wonderful Easter break. Four days off with friends and family. Unlike Saints, I am not used to working almost an entire year without a break nor had I realised how much I needed a few days off! Due to the travelling logistics of getting away from St Helena, most Saints save their leave and it is not uncommon for some to have up to 100 days carried forward, although this is being addressed now with the advent of the airport construction. Currently to get to the UK, it is pretty much a week’s travel each way. Once the airport is functional, that should reduce to a day or two maximum. There will also (hopefully) be more than one opportunity to leave every few weeks!

So as leave is generally not taken, apart from the Christmas break, I have not had any leave, so it came as somewhat of a shock when I realised how much I needed to stop, if only for a few days - and had we been in the UK there would have been at least one holiday somewhere during the last 12 months. In fact the last short break we had was a couple of weeks before I left the UK in early May - France with Mandy and Dave.

On the Island a high proportion of Saints go camping for the 4 day Easter break and luckily for them, the weather was just right for camping. Henry had arranged to meet some friends at the Wharf steps on Good Friday and they were going to swim in the sea, before returning to our house in Piccolo Hill for a BBQ. I drove Henry down into Jamestown and although I knew most places closed on Good Friday, I wasn’t prepared for the total closure of the town. Not one business was open and a cruise ship was due in later - Main Street was like tumbleweed.


Although Henry had arranged to meet friends at 12, they all run on St Helena time, meaning the first of his friends didn’t arrive until after 12:30! Another arrived a few minutes later and after exchanging pleasantries with the other parents, I returned to Longwood for an afternoon of reading (something I haven’t done in a long time) I had arranged to pick Henry up at 15:30 and on arriving at the Wharf, the cruise ship was disembarking some of its passengers, although you have to question what exactly they were going to do in a deserted town.

Henry and friends duly deposited home and soon the house was filled with teenagers, music and the smell of BBQ’d food. It’s odd isn’t it that teenagers tell all their friends that they are having a BBQ, but it was Andy and I doing all the cooking then struggling to make out the sound on the TV above the loud bass music being played on the balcony. Everyone had a good time dancing, singing and eating during the evening, as well as a bit of dart playing.

Saturday is usually diving day for Andy and Henry, but as Anthony who owns Sub-Tropic Adventures was away camping with his young family, it was an opportunity to venture into town to do a spot of shopping! Luckily I didn’t need anything in particular as not much had opened and neither was there much to buy.

Monday started out a little drizzly, but cleared up quite quickly and a walk in Plantation Forest was needed, so we headed over with two very excited dogs for a lovely time walking in the forest under the cool canopy of trees and bamboo. The perfect end to a lovely Easter Weekend.

For more about the pros and cons of living on St Helena see our page Could you live here?.

Article: Easter Camping

Published in the St Helena Herald 28th March 2008{3}

Easter camping article SHH

In most areas over the Easter weekend, heavy rains dampened the holiday spirit for many campers. Campers at Horse Pasture said there was mud everywhere. For some, it was the worst they had ever seen at this site.

Departing Horse Pasture and Thompsons Wood on Monday was difficult as vehicles were sliding over the muddy surface. It was late in the day before all vehicles could leave. One camper said they had never seen anything like it and it will be an experience they will not easily forget. The difficulty of getting off the camp sites was made easier by campers others helping each other.


{a} Tourist Information Office{b} Billy Crystal


{1} This photo clearly dates from 2008 or earlier - the vessel in the background is MV Portzic.{2} Which is normally closed to the public due to port security, but is opened especially on this night.{3} @@RepDis@@{4} See more blogs.


Ⓘ easter.htm⋅processforftp⋅fb:1.10.0⋅wombat2018⋅24.07