A celebration is a happy time when people get together in honour of something special.

Different religions or countries each have their own celebration or way of celebrating.

Easter is celebrated by people who follow Christian religions.

Christians believe that Easter is the time that Jesus died on a Friday and came alive again a few days later on Sunday. It is an important time, so people go to church. Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the full moon that is seen after 21st March. This means the date of Easter Sunday is different each year.

Today most Easter eggs are chocolate, but in olden times were real eggs. ©iStock

Today most Easter eggs are chocolate, but in olden times were real eggs. ©iStock

In the northern half of the world, Easter comes at the beginning of spring, so rabbits, chicks and eggs celebrate new life.  Eggs are decorated in the colours of spring flowers and new leaves. These days the eggs are now chocolate and the colours are on the paper that is wrapped around them, but some people still dye real eggs in bright colours.

 

A jewelled Easter egg made by a French jeweller called Fabergé. ©iStock

A jewelled Easter egg made by a French jeweller called Fabergé. ©iStock

Long ago, the King of Russia had an egg made of gold and precious jewels each year, sometimes with a little treasure inside.

In Greece hardboiled eggs are dyed red, the colour of Jesus’ blood. People hold an egg with three fingers, and tap their egg against someone else’s egg , trying to break it. In some countries eggs are dyed in amazing patterns. 

Dyed chicken eggs. Photo©iStock

Dyed chicken eggs. Photo©iStock

One way of dyeing eggs at home is to place a leaf onto a boiled egg and tie a piece of pantyhose to hold it firmly in place, then dip the egg into a cup of food dye, or into several cups of different colours. When the dye has dried, wiping cooking oil onto the design makes the colours glow even brighter.

In many countries the Easter Bunny is thought to bring chocolate eggs. Rabbits were brought to Australia over two hundred years ago, and have since become pests. Rabbits in the wild have meant some native animals now struggle to survive.

A bilby is also known as a rabbit-eared bandicoot ©iStock

A bilby is also known as a rabbit-eared bandicoot ©iStock

For this reason, many Australians talk about the Easter Bilby rather than the Easter Bunny.

A bilby is a small Australian animal with big ears and is endangered partly because of rabbits taking over the places where they live.

In different countries there are special foods eaten at Easter.

Hot Cross Buns are eaten in many places in the world at Easter time. The buns are full of dried fruit and are marked with a cross on top. Before the time of Jesus, the cross meant the four quarters of the moon.  Christians decided the cross could also mean the cross where Jesus died so the buns became an Easter food.

A simnel cake  Photo ©iStock

A simnel cake  Photo ©iStock

In England, a simnel cake is made for Easter. It is a fruit cake covered with a layer of marzipan, which is a paste of ground almonds.

Jesus had 12 apostles, or companions, but only 11 were good. On a simnel cake there are 11 marzipan balls on top, one for each of the good apostles.

 

La Colomba. ©iStock

La Colomba. ©iStock

In Italy people make a cake called La Colomba di Pasqua. It has dried fruit inside, and it is made in a shape like a dove.

This is because a dove is a symbol of peace, and Easter is a time to pray for peace.

An Easter Sunday procession in a village in Sicily. ©iStock

An Easter Sunday procession in a village in Sicily. ©iStock

In many places in Italy there is a procession on Easter Sunday to celebrate Jesus coming alive again, and a statue of him is carried through the streets.

It is a joyful procession as people celebrate the holiest day of the year for Christians.  

 

Greek Easter bread called tsoureki ©iStock

Greek Easter bread called tsoureki ©iStock

In Greece, roast lamb is eaten on Easter Sunday. Also served is an Easter bread called tsoureki, with red dyed boiled eggs pressed into it. An Easter cake is made with oranges and almonds, with a spicy orange syrup poured over. Special shortbread biscuits are also made.

 

Russian pashka ©iStock

Russian pashka ©iStock

In Russia and countries nearby, a cream cheese called pashka is served with a sweet bread called kulich. Pashka is made in a pyramid shape and tastes a bit like cheesecake. It is marked with the letters XB, which are letters of the Russian alphabet and  represents words that mean Christ is Risen.  People spread pashka onto slices of kulich.

 

 

Find Easter crafts to make: