Most of us will be busy this week preparing our Easter celebration. There are decorations that need to be put out, and clothes that need to be bought. Pictures with the Easter Bunny, coloring eggs, Easter egg hunts, shopping, and cooking, are also on the to do list.
Easter is celebrated in several ways. Children are given baskets filled with chocolate bunnies, candy eggs, peeps, and jelly beans. Eggs are decorated and hidden for children to find. People wear new clothes and go to church. Greeting cards are exchanged. Small leafless trees or branches are decorated with colored eggs, and lights. You can even go to the mall and visit with the Easter Bunny. Tulips, hyacinths and lilies are given as gifts.
Holy Week is the celebrated during the week leading up to Easter. It begins on Palm Sunday, continues on to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and then finally, Easter Sunday.
The largest ever Easter egg hunt was in Florida, where 9,753 children searched for 501,000 eggs.
When people eat a chocolate Easter bunny, 76 percent bite off the ears first, 5 percent go for the feet and 4 percent opt for the tail.
90 million chocolate bunnies and 91.4 billion eggs are produced each year. At Easter, Americans consume more than 16 million jellybeans, and that’s enough to circle the globe three times over.
The White House hosts an Easter Egg Roll on the front lawn each year. This tradition was started by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878.
The tallest chocolate Easter egg was made in Italy in 2011. Standing 10.39 meters tall and weighing 7,200 kg, it was taller than a giraffe and heavier than an elephant. But Portugal is the home of the largest decorated Easter egg, which reached almost 15m in height and 8m in diameter when it was made in 2008.
In 2012, London hosted the world’s biggest-ever Easter egg hunt.
The world’s most popular egg-shaped chocolate is Cadbury’s Creme Egg. Workers at Cadbury in Birmingham produce 1.5 million of these very day.
The name Easter owes its origin to Eostre or Eastre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of light and the dawn who was honored at pagan festivals celebrating the arrival of spring.
In medieval times, a festival of egg throwing was held in church, when the priest would throw a hard-boiled egg to one of the choirboys. It was then tossed from one choirboy to the next and whoever held the egg when the clock struck 12 was the winner and could keep it.
The custom of giving eggs at Easter has been traced back to Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks and Romans, for whom the egg was a symbol of life.
Americans spend $1.9 billion on Easter candy. That’s the second biggest candy holiday after Halloween.
70% of Easter candy purchased is chocolate.
Egg dyes were once made out of natural items such as onion peels, tree bark, flower petals, and juices.
The first story of a rabbit (later named the “Easter Bunny”) hiding eggs in a garden was published in 1680.
Easter takes place on a Sunday, after the 40-day period called Lent. Lent is referred to as a time of fasting, but participants focus more on giving up one significant indulgence.
Our Easter tradition starts on Saturday when we have homemade Easter Pizza, then continues on Sunday, when my family comes over for dinner of ham, homemade Easter bread, salad, green beans, and ravioli. And of course, chocolate for dessert. When my children were younger, we colored eggs and hunted for Easter eggs every Easter morning, before going to church in our new Easter outfits.
If you celebrate Easter, Happy Easter to you and your family. For my Jewish friends, Happy Passover.
Do you have a favorite Easter tradition? Share with us, we’d love to hear about it.
As a writer, do you use tradition or holidays to add to your story? Tell us about it.