Christian Holy Week draws to a close, this year in the first week of April, with the celebration of Easter Sunday. The story of how Jesus rose from the grave three days after his death on the cross.
BBC Teach – Christian Story of Easter
Easter Sunday Traditions
The church prohibited the eating of eggs during Holy Week, but chickens continued to lay eggs during that week, and the notion of specifically identifying those as “Holy Week” eggs brought about their decoration. The egg itself became a symbol of the Resurrection. Just as Jesus rose from the tomb, the egg symbolises new life emerging from the eggshell. In the Orthodox tradition, eggs are painted red to symbolise the blood Jesus shed on the cross.
Some even say that our modern take on collecting, dyeing, and decorating eggs comes from a tradition dating back thousands of years, long before the time of Jesus Christ. Many ancient cultures, including the Greeks and Egyptians, saw eggs as a sign of fertility and new life; they used eggs in religious rituals and hung them in pagan temples.
Easter Sunday Sunrise Service
There’s a reason why Easter Sunday is often celebrated with church service at the crack of dawn. It was at dawn on Easter morning that Mary opened Jesus’s tomb to find it empty — which is why so many churches now hold services at an early hour to honour the momentous occasion. In fact, the tradition of sunrise Easter service dates back to 1732, when the first recorded service was held in Germany by the Moravian Church. A group of young men gathered at the first light of dawn at the town’s graveyard to sing hymns of praise — and the next year, the entire congregation joined in.
In early Jewish history, lambs were sacrificed as offerings to God and served regularly as part of the Passover feast. Then, when Jesus died during Passover, he represented the ultimate sacrifice for sin, the “lamb of God“, and the animal evolved into a potent symbol for Christians, especially at Easter. Many Orthodox Christians still follow the Jewish Orthodox customs of not eating any pork, so lamb takes centre stage at their Easter meal.
Easter Sunday Activities
Following from some of the other ‘Holy Week’ Blogs; crafts and DIY are some of the most fun activities that kids love to do both inside as well as outside the classroom. So I’ve scoured the internet for some really fun and creative ideas which you can do during the Easter Week run-up.
Traditional Easter Sunday Dishes Around the World
- Argentina: Torta Pascualina
Pascua is Spanish for Easter, so Tarta Pascualina means “Easter Time Tart.” The savoury pie is filled with ricotta, hard boiled eggs, spinach, artichoke, and parsley. Since it is meatless, it’s a common dish during Lent, and the many eggs used to make it symbolise the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- France: Le Gigot d’agneau Pascal
The French have a particular Easter recipe for leg of lamb known as “le gigot d’agneau Pascal.” While the name might seem complicated, the recipe is actually fairly simple. The meat (lamb being known as a sacrificial animal) is seasoned with garlic and herbs such as rosemary, and then roasted.
- Finland: Mämmi
Those making mämmi for Easter need to start the preparation days in advance, as it needs to be stored chilled for three to four days before being served. The traditional dessert is made from water, molasses, malted rye, rye flour, and Seville orange zest for seasoning. It’s usually eaten cold with milk or cream.
- Poland: White Borscht
White borscht, also referred to as zurek, isn’t exclusively made at Easter, but it’s common during the holiday. Made from soured rye flour, sausage, and hard boiled eggs, the soup is hearty and filling.
- Italy: Colomba Di Pasqua
Sweet breads are common holiday food in Italy. There’s panettone at Christmas, and colomba di pasqua at Easter. Shaped like a dove, a symbol for peace, colomba di pasqua is stuffed with candied fruit and then sprinkled with almonds and pearl sugar.
We here at Teacher’s Pet have been hard at work to bring you some brand new and amazing resources all to do with celebrating the Easter period. Click here to see all that of our resources relating to Easter.
Below I have picked out a handful of resources in order to help you get started.
Have a great day!
We hope these ideas have given you some inspiration for how to celebrate Easter Sunday.
If you have any great teaching ideas for this topic, feel free to comment below (they might even get added into the topic calendar!).