Easter Sunday, also called the Resurrection Sunday, is the day believed to be the anniversary of Jesus’s resurrection from the dead, which had proved him to be the Son of God. The date of Easter Sunday is different every year, because it depends on the first Full Moon on or after the March equinox. It usually falls between March 22 and April 25. Because of the fact that it is always observed on Sunday, it does not often square with the date of the Jewish Passover, which is celebrated closer to Nisan 14 of the Hebrew calendar – the actual date of the last Passover celebrated by Jesus before his death.
There are many Easter traditions and customs around the world. One of the most popular are Easter eggs – even though the eggs became a symbol of new life long before Christianity. Relating to Easter, eggs can also be a symbol of an empty tomb. In some countries, however, it is also a popular custom to paint the eggs in different colours and patterns. Chicken eggs are more and more often replaced with plastic or chocolate eggs. Children are each year waiting for an Easter egg hunt – a game in which their task is to find the eggs hidden by their parents in the house or in the garden. In the United Kingdom this custom is observed on a larger scale – every year over 250 National Trust locations hold an egg hunt sponsored by a British chocolate company, Cadbury.
Another popular symbol associated with Easter holidays is the Easter bunny. This is due to the fact that rabbits are connected with fertility. In the United Kingdom many children believe that the bunny will bring them gifts such as chocolate eggs if they were good for the whole year. The Easter bunny is also believed to hide the eggs from the children playing an egg hunt game.
A traditional Easter food in the United Kingdom is mainly the simnel cake – a fruit cake with a layer of marzipan on the top, and a Roast lamb for dinner. It is common for the whole family to gather together for the meal and spend some time together.
Did you know?
The exact origin of the English word ‘Easter’ is not known. The most popular theory states that the name comes from the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre. The theory makes sense, for the goddess was associated with spring and fertility – just like the eggs and rabbits, symbols of Easter. The date is also very similar – Eostre was celebrated around the vernal equinox.
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