Many people believe that Easter is a Christian festival: the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection. However, many Easter traditions are not really Christian. The word Easter originates from the Anglo-Saxon God called Eostre.

Here are 5 facts about Easter:

1) Easter is Anglo-Saxon in Origin

eostrePhoto Credit

Eostre was the goddess of spring and dawn (sunrise). In Anglo-Saxon times, a feast was held in spring to celebrate the goddess who brought new life to the world (this is when the flowers bloom and baby animals are born). It was not until the Romans invaded the UK that Easter became synonymous with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

2) Easter changes date depending on the moon

Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon of Spring. It can be any time between March 22nd and April 25th.

3) People spend lots of money buying chocolate

It is tradition to give chocolate eggs at Easter because these symbolise new life. The average child in Britain receives 8.8 eggs at Easter.

easter eggs

Photo Credit

4) There is a special Easter hat

Easter bonnets are often made and worn at Easter. They can include flowers, colourful eggs and sometimes pictures of small baby animals. They symbolise the new coming of spring.

easterbonnetMany British school children make Easter Bonnets at school.

5) Rabbits are the symbol of Easter because they have lots of babies.

Eostre, the goddess of Spring, was often represented by a rabbit. This is because of rabbits have a high reproduction rate.

In Medieval times a popular story came about; it told of an Easter Rabbit who laid eggs and hid them in a garden. It is still a popular story to tell children nowadays.

Some towns organise Easter Egg hunts on Easter Sunday: children race to find the eggs that the Easter Rabbit (or Easter Bunny) has left during the night.

Vocabulary: festival (n), resurrection (n), Anglo-Saxon (n+adj), dawn (n), feast (n+v), to bloom (v), full moon (adj+n), bonnet (n), to come about (phrasal verb), bunny (n), to race (v),

Photo and Facts from: List25

Do you celebrate Easter? What are the traditions in your country? What other festivals do you celebrate?