Easter in Sweden
In Sweden, Easter is not as big a celebration as Christmas, but schools have a holiday for about one week before Easter. It is the time when people remember when Jesus died and then rose from the dead.
People decorate their houses with the Easter colours; yellow, green and white. They put yellow chickens with feathers of different colours all over their houses. People eat almost the same food that they eat at Christmas, but much more candy. The Easter Bunny is part of the celebrations. The bunny hides the Easter eggs the night before Easter Sunday in the houses and the children search for the eggs the next day. The eggs are made of cardboard, and inside each one is candy.
Easter in England
Easter is celebrated by giving and receiving things like Easter Eggs. Older people may exchange things like money, clothes, chocolate or go on holidays together. Some people make Easter bonnets or baskets, which have things like daffodils in them or mini eggs. Small children sometimes go to a local community centre to enter an Easter bonnet competition to see whose bonnet is the best and the winner gets an Easter egg. The Easter bunny is part of the Easter tradition in England and the shops are filled with thousands which people buy to give to each other. The Easter bunny hides the eggs in the houses and children on Easter Sunday search to find these treats.
Hot cross buns are popular foods on Good Friday. These are sweet fruit buns with crosses on top. Some people still make these with yeast, but shops now sell dozens in the week before Easter.
Easter in Germany
Easter in Germany is at the end of March or at the beginning of April. It is always on a Sunday or a Monday. The Friday before Easter is Good Friday. No one has to work on any of these days. Many people eat fish on Good Friday. On Saturday evening they have a big Easter bonfire. This is very popular and many people come and watch the bonfires. These Easter bonfires are burnt as symbols of the end of Winter and all bad feelings.
On Easter Sunday families have nice breakfasts together. Parents then hide Easter baskets with sweets, eggs and small presents. After that parents say "The Easter Bunny has hidden the Easter basket, now you have to find them". Then the children search for them.
In the afternoon of Sunday and Monday friends and relatives visit each other and they usually have tea together. Every year they do the same things.
School children have about three weeks holiday at Easter. No one works on Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday. Many people eat fish on Good Friday and on Easter Saturday evening there is often a big Easter bonfire. This is very popular and lots of people gather to watch. These Easter fires are burnt as symbols of the end of the winter and any bad feelings.
Eggs are an important part of German Easter customs. It is thought that the practice of exchanging eggs may have started before people started to pay taxes to their landlord. Eggs were then a way that people could pay their landlord who then had to give some to the poor people. Today it is not just the children who receive eggs, but adults often exchange beautifully hand painted eggs. These are often accompanied with a special message. On Easter Sunday families have a special breakfast and parents hide Easter baskets with contain sweets, eggs, and small presents. After the parents call out, The Easter bunny has hidden the Easter basket, now you can find them.
Easter in Australia
There are people from many different cultures in Australia so Easter is celebrated in a variety of ways. The main day of celebration of families of Anglo-Irish backgrounds is Easter Sunday. Some people go to church services and have hot cross buns for breakfast. These are a sweet fruit bun, which may have a cross on top. Children exchange Easter eggs, which are usually made of chocolate. Some are now made from sugar and have little toys inside. The chocolate eggs are available in an egg shape, from tiny little ones to giant ones. Some chocolate eggs are also in the shape of cheeky looking rabbits. In recent years Easter bilbys have also been made. The bilby is a native animal in Australia, which is an endangered species. Chocolate manufacturers decided to make Easter bilbys and give some of their profits to help protect these animals from extinction. Children dont worry about the shape. They just love the chocolate! Many families have an Easter hunt in their homes or gardens to see who can find the most eggs on Easter Sunday morning. They then share a meal with their relatives. Traditionally this has consisted of roast lamb, beef or chicken with roasted vegetables like potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and beans, peas, or broccholi.
There is a huge variation in the sorts of foods people may eat from seafood, lasagna, to salads and barbeques. One dessert that has been popular at family celebrations in Australia is the Pavlova. It is made out of egg whites and sugar.
Easter is a time when a lot of Australian families go away on holidays, as it is late summer and early autumn. Some go to the beach others to the mountains. Some people camp in tents others stay in their holiday houses or rent one or stay in hotels or motels Most shops are closed from Good Friday to Easter Monday except those in holiday towns.
Click here if you would like to see what a pavlova looks like and the recipe for one.
Click here to see what a bilby looks like.
Click here for the Hot Cross Bun recipe.
Easter in America
Easter is the day Christ's resurrection is celebrated. Families dress in cheerful, spring colours and attend church where a message is given about Christ rising from the tomb and songs are sung. A ham dinner with pineapples,potatoes, fruit salad and vegetables is served for lunch. The Easter bunny comes in the morning and fills baskets with Easter eggs and lots of chocolate and candy.
Click here for the Easter Roll Game.