One of the most famous was of starting Lent,
and so the Easter celebrations, in the U.K. is by holding Pancake
races. In Minehead, the town where I live, the main street used to be closed on the evening of Shrove Tuesday
and lots of people took part in the races. You ran down the road while tossing and trying not to drop your pancake! Sadly, due to very expensive insurance (in case people fell over and hurt themselves!) it's not done any more in Minehead.
On Mothering Sunday, which is always the Sunday in the middle of Lent in the U.K., special services are held in churches to thank God for Mums. Flowers such as Daffodils and Primroses are often given to mums to say thank you for all the hard work they do! It is also traditional that Mums get the day of house work and might even have breakfast in bed! In old times, when a lot of people had servants, Mothers Day was when maids and servant could go
home and see their parents and especially Mothers. A Simnel cake
was traditionally made to take home to save the maid's mothers baking for Mothers Day. Simnel cake is still eaten today on Mothers Day.
People who go to Church on Palm Sunday, often receive a small cross made of palm leaves blessed by the priest or minister.
One very famous U.K. Easter tradition is the giving out of 'Maundy Money' by the Queen on Maundy Thursday.
Centuries ago it was tradition that the reigning King or Queen would wash the feet of a few of poor people, the number of people being the same as the monarch's age. This was to remember that Jesus washed his disciples feet before the Last Supper.
Over the years the tradition has changed. Now the Queen, carrying a small pomander or bouquet of sweet herbs, gives little purses of money to a few chosen men and women. The coins are special little silver pennies and the purses are made of soft leather and are closed with a drawstring. The ceremony is held at Westminster Abbey, in London, every other year. In the years when it isn't held at Westminster Abbey, the Queen distributes the Maundy Money at different cathedrals in the country.
In York, traditional Passion Plays are still performed for the public. The plays are often performed in the Old English language they were first performed in during medieval times. You can sometimes understand some words, but a lot of them are completely unrecognisable!
A lot of Churches hold special Good Friday services. Sometimes the congregation is lead to the church by a person or group of people carrying a large wooden cross. This reminds them that
Jesus died on a cross on Good Friday.
It is thought to be lucky if you plant your Parsley and Potatoes on
Good Friday, the parsley should be planted by a woman! But I don't thinkthis makes much sense as the date changes every year, so the crops might not grow as well!
Decorating Easter Eggs is a common tradition in the U.K., particularly in the North of land, Scotland, the Isle of Man and Ireland. Decorated Eggs are sometimes called 'pace eggs' in these areas. The word pace comes from the word 'pasche' meaning Passover.
The first person in the U.K. to receive an official Easter Egg was Henry VIII. The Egg was sent by the Pope.
Lots of unusual sports happen at Easter time in the U.K.
A Bottle Kicking Match, between the villages of Hallaton and Medbourne, in Leicestershire, take place on Easter Monday.
The bottles are actually three small barrels - two contain beer and one is empty. One of the full barrels is placed on landmark called the Hare Pie Bank - and each team tries to get it down their own side of the ridge and across the stream that rings the playing area. Whichever teamswins gets the barrel - and the beer inside! Then game is then played with the empty barrel, and the winners get the second barrel of ale!
Also on Easter Monday, lots of people take part in egg-rolling
competitions. The rules are often different from place to place. At
Preston, in Lancashire, children roll coloured hard-boiled eggs down thegrass slopes in the local park. The winner is the person whose egg is the first to the bottom that is unbroken. On the island of Harris, in Scotland, you are supposed to get good luck for the rest of the year if your egg gets to the bottom ofthe hill unbroken. In some places it's the egg that rolls the farthest that is the winner.
Easter - Traditions and Customs - Topmarks:
All about Easter
When the shops are full of Easter eggs you know it will soon be Easter. But Easter isn't just about chocolate eggs. Here you can find out the facts about Easter and about its traditions. You can have some fun with our Easter activities too!
* Easter reading comprehension and grammar worksheets
* worksheets with word games, a quiz game with question cards, and some Easter craft ideas.
*Easter Flashcards: Easter worksheets, Easter word searches, printable