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Easter in England
Transcript of Easter in England
Hot Cross Buns
Easter in the UK is all about age-old customs, mind-boggling folklore and traditional feasts. The observance of Easter in the UK is not a recent phenomenon. In fact, it has been in vogue even before the pre-Christian times. The name Easter comes us from Ostera or Eoster, the anglo-saxon goddess of spring, for whom a spring festival was held annually, as it is from this pagan festival that some of our Easter customs have come
The Easter celebrations in England are quite unlike the way it is celebrated in other parts of the world. Lent marks the beginning of Easter celebrations in England that falls on Ash Wednesday. The last three days before the beginning of Lent is known as Shrovetide, which is marked by huge celebrations. The Easter celebration, which extends over a period of 40 days, is a low-key affair here since the British people like to limit their celebrations to extensive prayer sessions. Nevertheless, feasting, games, fun and egg-hunt does make for an important part of their Easter observance too. Easter customs like egg rolling, performing Pace Egg plays, Morris dancing and display of Easter bunny form the major attractions of Easter celebrations in the UK.
*In pagan, pre-Christian times, the bun represented the moon and the four quarters, the four seasons.
*Now, represented the cross that Jesus died on.
- Decorated with 11 marzipan balls representing the 12 apostles minus Judas, who betrayed Christ
* Easter eggs are a very old tradition going to a time before Christianity. Eggs after all are symbol of spring and new life
*Exchanging and eating Easter eggs is a popular custom in many countries
Maundy Thursday - also called Holy Thursday, is the beginning of the three day celebration of Easter - the most important time in the year for Christians. This period ('The Triduum') is one big celebration, remembering the last supper, the crucifixion and the death of Jesus, and the Resurrection to new life.
Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles.
The name maybe derived from 'God's Friday' in the same way that good-bye is derived from 'God be with ye'.
It is 'good' because the barrier of sin was b
Jesus was arrested and was tried, in a mock trial. He was handed over to the Roman soldiers to be beaten and flogged with whips. A crown of long, sharp thorns was thrust upon his head.
Jesus was forced to carry his own cross outside the city to Skull Hill. He was so weak after the beating that a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was pulled from the crowd and forced to carry Jesus' cross the rest of the way.
Jesus was nailed to the cross. Two other criminals were crucified with him, their crosses were on either side of him. A sign above Jesus read "The King of the Jews."
Christians gather together on Easter Sunday for a Sunrise Service. This service takes place on a hill side so everyone can see the sun rise.
Some Christians take part in an Easter vigil, lighting a new fire outside the church early on Sunday morning. The Paschal candle, decorated with studs to celebrate Christ's wounds, may be lit from the fire and carried into the church where it is used to light the candles of the worshippers. The Easter Eucharist is a particularly joyful service. It is a popular time for baptisms and renewal of baptism vows.
Easter Monday occurs after Easter Sunday, which commemorates Jesus Christ's resurrection, according to Christian belief. It is a bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland but not Scotland.
What do people do?
For many people, Easter Monday is the last day in a four day weekend. If people have been on a short vacation or have visited family or friends, who live some distance away, they often travel back on this day. For other people, it is just a welcome day off to enjoy the spring weather or work on their garden or home improvements. In some places, there are egg rolling competitions, Easter bonnet parades, displays of traditional Morris dancing fairs or special sports matches.
Dressing up for Easter
Morris dancing is a traditional English form of folk dance which is also performed in other English-speaking countries such as the USA and Australia. The roots of morris dancing seem to be very old, probably dating back to the Middle Ages.
In the dance men dress up in costumes with hats and ribbons and bells around their ankles. They dance through the streets and one man often carries an inflated pigs bladder on the end of a stick. He will run up to young women in the street and hit them over the head with the pigs bladder, this is supposed to be lucky (men)!
Easter was once a traditional day for getting married, that may be why people often dress up for Easter. Women would make and wear special Easter bonnets - decorated with flowers and ribbons. Even today in Battersea in London there is a special Easter Parade, where hand-made bonnets are shown off.
In Britain today, the Queen follows a very traditional role of giving Maundy Money to a group of pensioners. The tradition of the Sovereign giving money to the poor dates from the 13th century, from the reign of Edward I.
Every year on this day, the Queen attends a Royal Maundy service in one of the many cathedrals throughout the country. 'Maundy money' is distributed to male and female pensioners from local communities near the Cathedral where the Service takes place.