As chocolate eggs, marshmallow bunnies and hot cross buns start filling supermarket shelves, it can be easy to forget the origins of the Easter celebrations. Unlike Christmas and Valentine’s Day which fall on the same days every year, the Easter holiday dates change annually. Easter will always fall on a Sunday with Good Friday just before, followed by Easter Monday the day after. Easter can fall as early as 22 March, or as late as 25 April, as Western Christianity dictates it must always fall on the next full moon after Spring equinox. As the Royal Scots Club gears up for our Easter Sunday lunch, we have looked at the history of this holiday and the Easter traditions which have developed over the years.
Easter is the principal festival of the Christian church year which celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his Crucifixion. The exact origins of this religious feast day are unknown, but some claim the word Easter is derived from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. Easter is an entire season of the Christian church year rather than just one day of celebration; the 40-day period leading up to Easter Sunday is known as Lent and is a time of reflection and penance.
Many Christians worldwide celebrate Easter with special church services, music, candlelight, flowers and ringing of church bells. In addition to Easter’s religious significance, it also has a commercial side. In the UK people give each other chocolate Easter eggs and Easter bunnies, with Easter egg hunts taking place in back gardens all over the country. Egg rolling is also popular; people roll painted hard-boiled eggs against other people’s eggs and the winner is the person whose egg remains whole.
Food is a big part of the Easter celebrations in the UK with family and friends getting together for Easter Lunch. The most traditional dish is roast lamb which is often followed by a Simmel cake and lots of chocolate eggs. Tables will be filled with spring flowers such as daffodils, white lilies and tulips, and yellow and gold often feature heavily in decorations.
Easter Sunday is one of the most festive events among Christians worldwide. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from death, as written in the Christian bible. The holiday has become more commercialised with the sale of chocolate eggs, cards and baskets, but it is still seen as a special day for spending time with family and friends and enjoying delicious food. If you would like to celebrate Easter Sunday with your family and friends at the Royal Scots Club, please click here to see our menu and book your table.