Parenthood

Easter Celebrations

April 22, 2011

HAPPY EASTER WEEKEND!!! We hope you are enjoying some time with your family! We all celebrate Easter differently, we all have different traditions and memories. Here are some interesting facts about where some of these traditions/symbols orginated from.

The Hot Cross Bun – A hot cross bun is a sweet, yeast-leavened, spiced bun made with currants or raisins, often with candied citrus fruits, marked with a cross on the top. In many historically Christian countries, buns are traditionally eaten hot or toasted on Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of The Crucifixion. They are believed by some to pre-date Christianity, although the first recorded use of the term “hot cross bun” was not until 1733; it is believed that buns marked with a cross were eaten by Saxons in honour of the goddess Eostre (the cross is thought to have symbolised the four quarters of the moon); “Eostre” is probably the origin of the name “Easter”. Others claim that the Greeks marked cakes with a cross, much earlier.

Pickled Fish – Good Friday is often described as the day of “greatest grief” for Christians. Many traditions and superstitions are associated with this day but perhaps the most widespread custom is the eating of fish, said to be an alternative for meat out of respect to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

The Catholic Church treats Good Friday as a fast day, which in the Latin Rite of the Church is understood as having only one full meal (but smaller than a regular meal) and two collations (a smaller repast, two of which together do not equal one full meal) and on which the faithful abstain from eating meat (usually red meat).

Eggs – Easter eggs are special eggs that are often given to celebrate Easter or springtime. The egg is a pagan symbol of the rebirth of the Earth in celebrations of spring and was adopted by early Christians as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus.

The first sweet eggs that were eaten were made in the last 100 years from sugar or marzipan. Since then chocolate eggs have become popular and these are given on Easter Sunday. In some countries parents tell their children the Easter Hare or Bunny has hidden chocolate eggs and they race to find them round the house or garden. Children in other countries decorate hard-boiled eggs at Easter time by painting or dyeing them.

In some countries such as the United States egg rolling is a popular Easter game. This is usually done with coloured eggs. One of the most well known events is held in America on the White House lawn. Children and parents push the eggs along through the grass with wooden spoons.

Easter Bells – Are rung in France and Italy throughout the year but they are not rung on the Thursday before good Friday. They are silent as way to remember the death of Jesus. They are then rung on Easter Sunday as way of telling people Jesus is alive again.

Candles – Candles give light in darkness. Jesus is seen as “the eternal light” showing Christians the way from death to life.

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