Spending Easter in the UK
Just like in many other countries, in the United Kingdom Easter is considered a major Christian holiday. This feast involves many unique traditions, customs and eating traditional food. Occurring at a different time every year, Easter is a public holiday and attracts numerous visitors to spend their vacation in the UK. Spending Easter in the UK is surely a remarkable experience especially if you arrive from a country which is not familiar with Christian holidays. If you would like to find out more about Easter traditions, traditional food, Easter Bunny and Easter eggs, read the following guide. It might help you understand the traditions and get prepared for the experience.
What is Palm Sunday? Palm Sunday is actually the Sunday before Easter which was named after the palms people were waving when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem. In Roman times waving palm branches to welcome a royalty used to be a tradition. Nowadays, Christians go to church on Palm Sunday and commemorate this event by decorating it with palm branches and carrying them in parades. Palm Sunday marks somehow the beginning of Holy Week, the week before Easter.
Holy Week – the week before Easter
Holy Week means for Christians preparing mentally for Easter. The most important days of Holy Week are Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. If you arrive in the UK before Easter, it is important to know the meaning of this week. Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper, the day before Jesus was captured and crucified. He spent His last evening with His apostles which is commemorated as the Eucharist during the mass. In the UK it is a tradition that the Queen participates on the ceremony of the Maundy Thursday. The next day named Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. It means a day of mourning in churches. Christians go to church and meditate on the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. Some say that Good Friday was once named God’s Friday which is more appropriate than this denomination. If you arrive to the UK during these two days, be prepared for the lack of crowds on the streets. You might opt for going to church as the majority does.
Easter involves lots of things. Besides the Christian traditions including going to church, there are “profane” traditions, too. Some of these are related to Easter Bunny and Easter eggs. Yes, you read it well! Eggs are symbols of new life and spring. As Easter occurs during springtime, it was obvious to use eggs as one of the symbols of this feast. Exchanging and eating these eggs is a popular and old tradition. Eggs are boiled and dyed in different vivid colors before exchanging them. Nowadays the hard-boiled eggs are usually replaced by chocolate eggs which can be hidden in the gardens by the parents. Children enjoy searching for these. In the United Kingdom, just like in several other countries, children believe Easter Bunny is the one who leaves the chocolate eggs in the gardens. Easter Bunny is equivalent somehow with Santa Claus. As for the food, hot cross buns are eaten throughout the Easter season. Other traditional food is the Simnel Cake. As you can see, British people have lots of traditions relating to Easter. Spending it in the UK will surely make a memorable experience.