This weekend, people in many countries are celebrating Easter. If you would like to know what Easter is, when it is and what people do to celebrate in the UK, then this article is for you.
The date of Easter actually changes every year and in 2022 it’s quite late. It can be any time between 22nd March and 25th April. So why does the date change each year? The easy answer is that it depends on the moon. A more complicated answer, if you’re interested, is that Easter Sunday is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox! In the church calendar, the spring equinox is 21st March, although the actual date varies slightly.
For Christians, Easter is one of the most important festivals of the year, as important as Christmas or perhaps even more so for some people. Christians believe that God sent his son Jesus to Earth. On a Friday, he was killed on a cross. He died instead of us to take our punishment for all the things we’ve done wrong and to make us right with God. Two days later, on a Sunday, he rose from the dead and was alive again.
The most important days for Christians are Good Friday, when we remember his death, and Easter Sunday, when we remember his resurrection. Most people get a four-day weekend, from Good Friday to Easter Monday.
Many years ago, before Christianity came to this country, people had spring festivals to celebrate new life. Some of these old customs have been combined with Church traditions to form what we know as Easter now. That’s why you see cards and decorations with eggs, chicks, spring flowers and the Easter bunny at this time of year.
In fact, most people in this country nowadays are not religious and, for them, Easter is about seeing family and friends as well as giving and receiving chocolate Easter eggs! We also eat hot cross buns, especially on Good Friday. These are like sweet bread containing dried fruit and spices, marked with a cross on the top. Some people also eat simnel cake. This is a fruit cake decorated with balls of marzipan.
Children get excited about Easter. For them it means two weeks off school and lots of chocolate! Sometimes people organise Easter egg hunts. We tell the children that the Easter bunny has hidden Easter eggs around the house or garden and the children have to find as many as they can. There may be an extra prize for the person who finds the most.
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