Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Easter traditions

In many countries, when children think of Easter, they think of eggs, rabbits and chicks. But what do these have to do with the Passion of Jesus Christ? Well, nothing at all. The rabbits and the eggs, though associated with the Christian tradition, are actually of pagan origin. In fact, the name “Easter” comes from a pagan goddess, Eostra, who was a deity related to spring and fertility. Her symbol was the hare or rabbit, and this is where the association of Easter and the rabbit begins. Apparently, it was the German immigrants who took the tradition of the egg-laying rabbit to America, being the egg a symbol of the new life that spring brings about.
Easter cupcakes
Image: 'For - Easter Cupcake inspirations'

The first Sunday of the Holy Week is called Palm Sunday because it was on this day that Jesus entered Jerusalem and was greeted by people carrying palms and olive branches, and it is on the last Sunday, which is called Easter Sunday, that the Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and is the day when most traditions take place. One of these is egg-hunting. Legend has it that the Easter rabbit hides painted or dyed eggs all over the garden, and children must try to find them all. Nowadays, Easter eggs are made of chocolate, and children are also given jelly beans, chocolate bunnies and eggs full of surprises inside.
Jelly beans
Image: 'I have discovered an entire new food+group'
Egg rolling takes place on Easter Monday. In many parts of the UK children roll hard-boiled eggs down a hill, and the winner is the one that takes the egg the farthest or the one whose egg survives! In the USA, the President and First Lady sponsor an egg rolling competition on the grounds of the White House, where children of up to 12 years old take part. This is the only occasion in which tourists are allowed to tread over the White House lawn!
Easter eggs
Image: 'Eastereggs'

Apart from chocolate eggs, people traditionally eat Easter cakes and hot cross buns, which are eaten on Good Friday, the day when Christians celebrate the death of Jesus Christ, and that's why these buns have a white cross on top. There is a famous nursery rhyme that goes:
Hot cross buns,
Hot cross buns,
One a penny,
two a penny
Hot cross buns.
If you have no daughters,
give them to your sons.
Hot cross buns.

A much funnier Easter song is this bunny rap.

If you want to learn more about the history of Easter, I wrote an entry in this blog last year about it.

To see how much you have learnt, try this reading comprehension test:


  1. Whenever i see the post like your's i feel that there are still helpful people who share information for the help of others, it must be helpful for others. thanx and good job.

  2. Thank you very much! If what I do can help someone, then it's really worth it! I'm very grateful for your comment!

  3. Inma. Fix the nursery rhyme. Final two lines should be "one a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns" not "hot cross buns, hot cross buns".

    1. It's fixed now. Thanks for pointing it out, Anonymous! Cheers!


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