On Sunday 4 April, millions around the world will gather to celebrate Easter.
For Christians, the festival celebrates the resurrection – coming back to life after death – of Jesus on the third day after he was crucified on the cross. According to the religion, his death was an act of atonement to wipe away the sins of humankind, and his resurrection represents God’s promise of eternal life.
So, Easter is a time to reflect on the new life and renewal that we see happening around us in spring. The festival takes its name from the goddess Eostre, who was celebrated at the end of winter.
Traditional celebrations around the world involve eggs to celebrate this time of new life. In Greece, people knock eggs with their neighbour for good luck. Argentinians hold huge Easter egg hunts in cities; in Scotland, egg rolling – racing painted eggs down a hill – is popular.
Last year, Easter celebrations were interrupted around the globe because of Covid-19. Families couldn’t get together and Easter mass at the Vatican in Rome, which usually attracts 100,000 Catholic worshippers, was conducted in an empty church for the first time in history.
Many see this year’s festival as a new dawn after a troubling year. What does Easter mean to you?
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The first chocolate Easter eggs are thought to have originated in France in the 18th Century. This video is a fascinating history of chocolate, where it comes from, and how it is made.
- The story of the Easter bunny became popular in the 1800s. Rabbits give birth to large litters in the spring, symbolising new life. Follow these simple instructions to make your own Easter bunny.
- Research another religious festival and make a presentation about it.