Celebrating Easter in Britain with Springtime Splendour and Fun

Spring, and the Easter season, is an ideal time to be British and to be anywhere in the UK. Nature’s winter nap is over, and everyone is delighted to share in the festivities of spring’s revival.

Celebrating Easter in Britain is a special seasonal event, whether observing the Christian holiday or the annual welcoming of spring’s awakening. The renewal of blooming trees and flowers spills over into lively outdoor enjoyment by residents, young and old alike. Life begins again, and it’s a real joy to see baby birds and chicks. This festive time has a world-famous symbol, the Easter Bunny. This adorable animal brings baskets of yummy goodies, like colourfully painted and decorated Easter eggs that the bunny had to get from the neighbourhood poultry farm. Everyone knows the Easter Bunny doesn’t lay eggs. However, his baskets are also filled with Easter eggs, sweets, cards, toys and games.

The fun is having the young children hunt in the park or garden for the bunny’s hidden treasures. It doesn’t matter if the hunt for Easter’s gifts is to get smaller children out into the wonderful spring air or if the outdoor activities are to keep the children busy while the Easter Sunday meal is prepared.

How hot cross buns became a special Good Friday delicacy

Traditional food for the Easter season begins nearly six weeks before the Sunday holiday with Ash Wednesday and the 40 days of Lent. There are the weekly pancake races on Shrove Tuesdays while hot cross buns are the symbolic breakfast food for Good Friday. Hundreds of years ago, all baked foods were marked with a cross in the belief that the sign would keep away any evil spirit that could ruin the goods. This practice changed during the 17th century when the Puritans thought daily crosses on food was too Catholic. The compromise between Puritans and Catholics was to place special marks on baked goods for special days; hot cross buns on Good Friday, a mutual religious sign of the Crucifixion, and was just such an occasion. Delicious fruits are on the inside and the sugary icing cross on the outside, making the bun a treat for everyone.

Traditional Easter Sunday Lunch

Depending on a family’s preference or tradition, the Easter Sunday main meal will likely be a sweet ham or a roasted stuffed lamb or leg of lamb. The dessert table will have an Easter cake, decorated cookies, bread pudding and some pound cake to be covered with berries and whipped cream. This is truly a special gathering for family and friends.

When is Easter 2013, or for any other year?

Easter is always on Sunday, but not on any permanently scheduled Sunday, like the second Sunday in April or the last Sunday in March. There are two major ways that Easter is calculated; by the Western Church calendar and by the Eastern Church calendar.

Both churches agree to Easter being the Sunday that comes after the first full moon after the first day of spring. Britain, part of the Western world, uses the Gregorian calendar where the first day of spring 2013 is March 21st. That makes Easter Sunday March 31, 2013. Greece, part of the Eastern world, uses the Julian calendar where the first day of spring 2013 is April 25th and Easter Sunday May 5, 2013.

Springtime in Britain

Food is not the only activity that makes a British Easter’s special. New spring fashions add splashes of bright colour to wardrobes. Lively frocks and invigorating bonnets are perfect for watching and participating in parades. One special, totally unique British traditional ceremony is the Morris dance. This all-male troupe of dancers meant to scare away any remaining evil cold winter spirits is an excellent exhibit of old world springtime dancing.

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/donebythehandsofabrokenartist/

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