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EASTER CUSTOMS


Easter Is Celebrated in Many Ways!

Candles are burned during many Easter celebrations.  Many churches extinguish candles on Good Friday to show that Jesus' light has gone out. In Roman Catholic churches, the special paschal candle is lit on Easter Sunday, representing Jesus' return to life. 

Easter Lilies are used to decorate churches and homes.

Easter Lamb- Many people serve lamb as part of the Easter feast or dinner. In many homes, a lamb-shaped cake decorates the table. 

Carnivals- The most famous carnival is Mardi Gras, celebrated the day before Lent begins. Carnivals often have parades in which people wear elaborate costumes. The best-known Mardi Gras parade in North America takes place in New Orleans.

Dying Easter eggs- Exchanging and eating Easter eggs is a popular custom in many countries.  The eggs are hard-boiled and dyed in colors and patterns. The most famous Easter eggs are made in Ukraine and Poland, where eggs are decorated with intricate red, black, and white patterns.  

Egg Hunts- In many countries, children hunt for Easter eggs hidden in the home or yard. Children in the United Kingdom, Germany, and  other countries play a game in which eggs are rolled against one another or down a hill. The egg that stays un-cracked the longest wins. Since 1878, children in Washington, D.C. have rolled eggs on the White House lawn.

Passion Plays- Plays dramatize the Easter story. 

Feasts- Easter Sunday is a feast day. An Eastern European custom is to have the Easter feast blessed by a priest. The priest goes to the home, or families may take their food to church for the blessing.

Easter bonnets- Wearing new hats and clothes for Easter is a common custom. 

Easter parades- Parades are a tradition in many European countries. A person holding a cross or an Easter candle leads some of these promenades.  In New York City, thousands of people stroll in the Easter Parade down Fifth Avenue following Easter services.

Easter fires- In many parts of Europe, huge bonfires are lighted on hilltops and in churchyards on Easter Eve.  

Hot cross buns- One of the oldest Good Friday customs is eating  hot cross buns, small, sweet buns with a frosting cross.

Easter Sunrise Service- Some churches have a, Easter service at sunrise.

Easter Bells- Easter bells are rung in France and Italy throughout the year but  not on the Thursday before good Friday. They are silent as way to remember the death of Jesus. Then they are rung on Easter Sunday as way of telling people Jesus is alive. 

Easter Bunny- The Easter bunny fills Easter baskets for children with Easter candy.  This custom began in Germany and then came to America.  The story was that if children were good, the Easter rabbit would lay colored eggs in a nest.  Children would use caps and bonnets for "nests."

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