Easter was originally
a pagan festival and spring festivals were celebrated all around the
world. The ancient Saxons celebrated Eastre (or Eostre), the return of
spring at this time of the year. When Christians arrived at the area
Eastre and the observance of the resurrection of Christ was held in the
same time. The name, Eastre, slowly changed into Easter.
Easter is celebrated on different dates every year between 22 March and
25 April. It is always the first Sunday after the first full moon on or
after 21 March (vernal equinox).
LENT is a 40-day
period of prayer and fasting before Easter. For many Christians this is
the time of
making and eating symbolic food. HOT CROSS BUNS are small sweet cakes
with a white cross on the top. Originally Saxons signed the buns to
honour their godess but for Christians the cross symbolises the
The EASTER BUNNY is not a modern invention. The rabbit was an earthly
symbol of the Saxons at their Eastre festival but it is a symbol of new
life as well. LAMB represents Jesus for Christians. Many families have
lamb as a part of the Easter feast. CHICKS are the symbol of new life
and rebirth for the Christians.
The EASTER EGG is also a symbol of rebirth and the new
beginning for a long time. Eggs often were coloured by leaves or gold
in the Middle Ages - representing the sunlight - and they were
exchanged as a custom in springtime. Nowadays Easter Eggs are often
made of chocolate or plastic. There are lots of games with the Easter
eggs. EGG HUNT: parents hide the eggs for the children to find and
collect them in an Easter basket. EGG ROLL: children roll their eggs
down on a hill. The fastest egg wins the game. In the United States the
most famous egg roll is held near the White House.
EASTER BASKET is a symbol of a nest where the Easter Bunny laid the
Easter Eggs. For Christian people the basket is something else. They
took the Easter dinner in the basket to be blessed. Nowadays they are
used for hiding and finding the eggs in an egg hunt game.
In the United States the typical Easter candy is a bag of JELLY BEANS.
They are small and sweet usually with a shape like an Ester Egg that is
why they put them in the Easter Basket.
Sending EASTER CARDS is as popular as Christmas or Valentine cards.
People in England love to send and get cards and wishes for Easter.
PUSSY WILLOW is picked at Easter in England and in other countries.
People tap each other shoulders with the willow for good luck.
English people often wear new clothes on Easter Sunday. New clothes and
colour symbolise the end of winter and the new beginning.