What an incredible opportunity Easter is for us all – typically Easter Friday right through to Easter Monday. Easter means different things to different people within our Sharks community. For some it is the opportunity to stop and enjoy family. Others it is a chance to get away and holiday together. With Easter egg hunts, a bunny mascot and chocolate aplenty, it’s easy to see why Easter is an exciting time for kids! – even us big kids. It led me to think about how many of us actually know why we celebrate Easter or where our Easter traditions come from? These fun facts should help you discover where our happy easter came from:
1. The date of Easter changes every year. This is because Easter falls on the first Sunday after the full moon following the March equinox. However, this always occurs on or between 22nd March and 25th April every year.
2. Easter is the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the oldest Christian tradition. It is also considered to be the most important date on the Christian calendar. Sidonia and I were raised with strong Christian values and we see Easter as a really important chance to stop and be grateful for what the death and resurrection means to us and our family.
3. The week before Easter is known as Holy Week. This begins on Palm Sunday and includes Maundy Thursday (the day of the Last Supper), Good Friday (the day of Christ’s crucifixion) and Holy Saturday (the time between the crucifixion and resurrection).
4. Eggs are associated with Easter because eggs (along with milk and meat) were forbidden during Lent. Any remaining eggs would be used up on the day before Lent, Shrove Tuesday, which is also known as Pancake Tuesday. The eggs accumulated during Lent would then be eaten at Easter.
5. Eggs are also associated with Easter since they are a symbol of fertility and rebirth, linking them with springtime and with the celebration of the resurrection.
6. Decorating Easter eggs first began with the custom of staining eggs red to symbolise the blood shed by Christ during the crucifixion. The practice of painting Easter eggs is called pysanka.
7. Hot cross buns were one of the earliest Easter treats, and were made by European monks to be given out to the poor during Lent. They have become less traditional over time with many supermarkets selling them all year round.
8. The word ‘Easter’ comes from Ēosturmōnaþ (meaning Easter month), an Old English name for the month of April, which was named after Ēostre, the Pagan goddess of spring and fertility.
9. The first chocolate Easter eggs were made in France and Germany as far back as the early 19th century. The first Cadbury Easter eggs were made in 1875 which is documented in the story of Cadbury Easter Eggs. They are most famous today for their delicious Cadbury creme eggs sold all year round YUM!
10. The tallest chocolate Easter egg ever made 10.39 metres high and weighed 7,200 kilogrammes, making it taller than a giraffe and heavier than an elephant!
11. The idea of the Easter Bunny originated among German Lutherans as the Easter Hare, which was said to judge whether children had been good or bad, to determine if they deserved Easter eggs. The first mention of this character in literature appeared in a story in 1682.
12. Easter is celebrated in different ways around the world. In Sweden, instead of an Easter Bunny, they have an Easter Wizard, and the kids dress as witches and wizards like our Halloween! (They aren’t alone- Easter means different things to many different cultures).
Well, there you go – 12 simple facts or stories about Easter. What does Easter mean to you and your family? We dont often have the time as a community club to stop and have these conversations (which is real life) as we are often so busy running our programs.
I thought it might be interesting to get us thinking this easter