The Traditions of Easter

Customs and traditions of Easter celebrations

If your Easter weekend has always been more about a lavish Sunday roast at home with the family, stuffing yourself with the copious amounts of mini eggs and having a variety of Cadbury's eggs dotted around the house (no hunting necessary), then you may have overlooked just how symbolic this very Christian celebration is.

A deeply religious holiday, Easter celebrates the day that Jesus was reborn three days after he was executed, and deals with quite dark issues of death, sacrifice and loss whilst also representing triumph, victory and the hope of eternal life. The word Easter is believed to have derived from Eostre, a pagan Anglo Saxon goddess, of spring and fertility, rebirth and renewal. Like the plants that return to life after winter, pagan cultures held spring festivals to celebrate the dawn of new life, which lead to some of the more modern rituals and traditions that we celebrate today.

Here TOAST reveals some of the most well known symbols of this age-old celebration to inspire your very own Easter feast this spring!

Why Eggs?

Egg's have been used for centuries for their hard shell, which was said to represent the giant rock that was placed in front of the tomb where Jesus's body was laid to rest, and moved by God when he was reborn.

The Easter Bunny

Of German origin in 16th century literature, the Easter hare became the symbol of Easter, representing fertility, new and continuing life.  The hare was the deliverer of eggs, laying them around the garden for children to find. This tradition later spread to the USA in the 1700s, which made the bountiful Easter bunny popular among children and the symbol we know of today.

The Egg Hunt 

As a result of these early symbols, communities across the country got together to make nests for the Easter bunny and decorate colourful eggs for them to hide ready for children to unearth and fill their baskets, or roll down the hills as a fun game for the family. As a thank you to the Easter bunny for all of the treats and spoils, children leave out carrots for them to enjoy.

Easter Feast

After all of the searching and fun of egg hunts and bunny rabbits, a traditional Lamb feast is served to rejoice after a Lenten fast. 

The new season’s lamb is traditionally roasted and served together with unleavened bread and wine, selected for its significance as a religious symbol as many Jews saw the lamb as a sacrifice of people’s wrong doings, and when the first of the season become available it was considered a true herald of spring.

In past centuries it has also been said to be a lucky omen to meet a lamb. Washing a lamb’s blood over the front door was a popular Jewish custom in Egypt, as it was believed that god would pass-over these homes and not let the plague descend.

Ham was also a surprising addition for some.  Jesus was Jewish and eating pork was therefore forbidden, but ham was a Christian meal and before refrigeration, a seasonal meat slaughtered in the autumn, then preserved and cured over the winter to develop the flavor ready to eat in spring.

Sweet Treats

Cakes and biscuits containing spices, currants and lemon rind are popular Easter foods, with breads such as the classic hot cross bun and its ornate iced cross topping symbolise religion, and traditionally eaten with lashings of melted butter on Good Friday.

Simnel cake is also a popular favorite to the Easter table. A fruit cake with a flat layer of marzipan and decorated with 11 marzipan balls to represent the 12 apostles, minus Judas, who betrayed Christ - take a look at our recipe over on TheEdit

Easter Table Place

There are so many wonderful things about Easter, and planning a party for friends and family can be a wonderful excuse to mark this very memorable occasion. Whether you want to help your children learn a little more about our religious traditions, or simply gather friends and family together to celebrate the start of spring, Easter weekend is the perfect occasion to do it and TOAST has plenty of inspirational ideas to help you create a modern twist on tradition - take a look over on TheEdit. 


Posted in Inspire Me

by Alexandra Davison
on on 14 April 2017

  easter, easter traditions

  See All Articles

Planning An Event?

Search for suppliers in our

Search for A Pro

Promote Your Business

We want to hear from you

Register Your Business

Get Featured on Toast

Suggest A Pro