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Easter Blog

By FLtt 24 Mar 2021

Your one stop blog to when is Easter, what it is, the symbols of Easter and a typical Easter for the UK! 

When is Easter?

Easter 2021 is celebrated on Sunday 4th April. Easter is considered a ‘moveable’ feast as the exact date of Easter changes in each, but always falls between March 22nd and April 25th on a Sunday following the Gregorian calendar. The date of Easter is determined by the first Sunday after which the Paschal Full Moon is seen, the first full moon that occurs after the vernal equinox, which is when the sun crosses the equator line heading north, signifying spring.

 This year the vernal equinox falls on March 20, 2021, which makes the first full moon on March 28th and therefore Easter is the following Sunday on Sunday 4th April. 

clouds in a blue cloudy sky

What is Easter?

Easter is a Christian holiday which celebrates the belief of Jesus Christ rising from the dead, three days after he was crucified. This is referred to as the resurrection.

The week up to Easter is called the Holy Week. The following dates are according to the Christian religion:

  • Palm Sunday: This is the Sunday before Easter (28th March 2021) and celebrates Jesus’s arrival to Jerusalem, where crowds of people threw palm branches down the road.
  • Maundy Thursday: This is the Thursday of Easter week, the day which remembers Jesus eating the Passover meal with his disciples. This meal is referred to as the last supper, breaking bead and drinking wine, to represent his body and blood.
  • Good Friday: This is the Friday before Easter Sunday and commemorates the execution of Jesus by crucifixion.
  • Easter Sunday: This day celebrates the day Jesus resurrected. On Good Friday Jesus’ body was buried in a cave tomb, but when visited on Sunday, by Mary Magdalene and some of the disciples, his body was no longer there. For up to 40 days later, Jesus was seen by Mary, the disciples and other people. This represents the story that God raised Jesus from the dead, named the Resurrection by Christians.

Symbols of Easter

  • The Cross: The cross represents where Jesus was crucified, the cross becoming a symbol of his suffering. In A.D 325, the cross became the official symbol of Christianity.
  • Palms: Palms were taken from Palm Sunday, the day where people welcomed Jesus by throwing palm branches, carpeting the streets and waving them. Today, Christians carry the palm branches on Palm Sunday in church and make them into crosses.
  • Easter Eggs: Eggs have been a tradition since before Christianity, as they represent spring and new life. Originally, the use of chicken eggs would be hard boiled and then decorated with bright colours, symbolling new light and spring. Nowadays, they have been replaced by chocolate eggs.
  • Easter Bunny: The Easter bunny seems to originate from Germany in the 16th century as the Easter ‘Hare’, who evaluated if children displayed good or bad behaviour. Children believe the Easter bunny brings them chocolate Easter eggs on the night before Easter, if they have displayed good behaviour to enjoy. The first chocolate Easter bunnies were seen in Germany in the early 1800’s.
  • Hot Cross Buns: These are typically eaten during the Easter period. These are small, sweet. yeast buns, which contain raisins and currents. Before baking, a cross is slashed at the top, which is filled with icing after baking. This is the cross that represents the crucifixion.
a plate of food sitting on top of a wooden table

A typical British Easter Sunday

In the UK, on this day, it is typical that you would invite family and friends over for Easter Sunday lunch, which consists of roasted lamb, potatoes, vegetables, Yorkshire pudding and then hot cross buns and chocolate Easter eggs for pudding. Some Christians may also go to Church on Easter morning.

In some parts of the UK, egg rolling games take place, whereby you roll hard boiled eggs down slopes and the egg which travels the furthest, without cracking wins. Or another commonly played game involves people knocking their hard- boiled egg against somebody else’s. The egg which doesn’t crack wins!

For children (and adults), Easter Egg hunts take place. This is where chocolate eggs have been hidden around the house or garden and children go and find them and place them in their baskets!

 The most commonly seen decorations for Easter are painted eggs, little chicks, bunnies and daffodils, as yellow is the most associated colour with Easter!

a close up of a flower

However you celebrate Easter Sunday this year, we hope you enjoyed learning about the history and traditions of Easter. The Reslife Team wish you a very Happy Easter! - Milena

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