The celebration of Easter in England began well before the arrival of Christianity. In the Pre-Christian Era, the festival was observed in honor of the Anglo Saxon Goddess - Eostre. Today, in England, the festivities of Easter begin with Lent, which falls on Ash Wednesday, and lasts for 40 days. Easter celebration in England is a low-key affair, as people prefer religious observations as compared to joyous merriment. Easter is an occasion for sober worship and quiet family gatherings sans the extravagance that accompanies festivals like Christmas. Nevertheless, springtime celebrations are gleefully observed in rural hinterland of the country. Easter eggs, games, feasting and fun activities all are part of the festivities, even though the main celebrations are seen in churches of the country. If you are keen on learning about the traditions and celebrations of Easter in England, then go through the following lines.
Easter Celebration In England
The celebration of Easter in England commences a week before the day, to be specific, on Palm Sunday. The name has its origin in the Roman times, when it was a customary to welcome royalty by waving the branches of palm tree. According to the legends, Jesus arrived in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and therefore, people welcomed him by laying a carpet of palm branches in the streets and holding one in each of their hands, to wave them to the lord. Even today, people in England go in parades on Palm Sunday, by carrying the palm branches. The palm branches are often made into garlands and crosses, to use them to decorate the church.
In many parts of England, professional troupes of dancers perform Morris Dance on Easter Sunday. These troupes of dancers, almost exclusively male, perform old spring dances to frighten away the veil spirits of winter. The dancers clad themselves in beautiful white shorts, red sashes, black trousers and straw hats, with lots of flowers and streamers. Red and green ribbons and little bells are tied onto the dancers, to complete the look.
Easter In Villages
English villages, with their quaint charm, provide the perfect backdrop for witnessing traditional Easter traditions of England. During the ceremonious occasion of Easter, the village church would be bedecked with fresh flowers. Traditional Easter egg hunts are organized in the villages, wherein the Easter Bunny hides Easter eggs for the local children to find. The village bakery would offer fragrant hot cross buns, warm from the oven, and Simnel cakes, with homemade 'marzipan' (a paste made with almond and sugar, generally used as icing for cakes and pastries). In the town of Olney, pancake races have been held on Shrove Tuesday, for over 500 years.