Celebrated throughout the Christian world Easter celebrates the end of Lenten fasting - forty days and forty nights, and the death of Christ on the Cross, followed by the Resurrection.
There is a strong linkage with Passover celebrated by people of the Jewish community, and religions of ‘the book’ acknowledge Easter Sunday as the most important day marking the beginning of their year.
Resurrection speaks of new beginnings, new life. Many animals and birds wait for the hardships of winter to pass before nesting and giving birth. The hills will soon be alive to the sound of newborn lambs gambolling about, they will skip and frolic for all to see, as will chicks and rabbits galore as we celebrate the start of the new season and the start of new life!
The Spring equinox will occur on 20th March, and Easter Day is on the 27th and the clocks will leap forward at 01:00 on that day.
In the English speaking world there are variations on how Easter is celebrated, eggs may be decorated then hidden to be hunted on Sunday morning and consumed soon after.
Other traditions involve parents telling their children that eggs and other treats such as chocolate eggs or rabbits and marshmallow chicks, have been delivered by the Easter Bunny in an Easter basket, which children find waiting for them as they awake.
Simnel cake, a fruit cake with eleven marzipan balls representing the eleven faithful apostles, or nut breads may be served. Hot cross buns, spiced buns with a cross on top, are traditionally associated with Good Friday, but today are often eaten well before and after, indeed they are sold in many local bakeries at this time of year.
In Scotland, the north of England, and Northern Ireland, the traditions of rolling decorated eggs down steep hills is still enjoyed.
In New Zealand, the Auckland Easter Show is an annual tradition.
In Louisiana, USA, the Easter tradition is egg tapping, known as egg knocking. Marksville, Louisiana claims to host the oldest egg-knocking competition in the US, dating back to the 1950s.
Competitors pair up on the steps of the courthouse on Easter Sunday and knock the tips of two eggs together. If the shell of your egg cracks you have to forfeit it, a process that continues until just one egg remains.
In the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda, famous for growing and exporting the Easter lily, the most notable feature of the Easter celebration is the flying of kites to symbolize Christ's ascent. Traditional Bermuda kites are constructed by Bermudians of all ages as Easter approaches, and are normally only flown at Easter. In addition to hot cross buns and Easter eggs, fish cakes are traditionally eaten in Bermuda at this time.
In Jamaica, eating spiced bun and cheese is a highly anticipated custom by Jamaicans and those of their kind all over the world. The Jamaica Easter Buns are spiced and have raisins, and baked in a loaf tin. The buns are sliced and eaten with a slice of cheese. Tasty!
If you are looking for something fun to wear over Easter, perhaps to an egg hunt, why not pop to Wardrobe Fancy Dress, they have lots of exciting things to make the day extra special, from clothes and make-up to party accessories.
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