The origin of Easter

Easter is a Christian religious holiday that commemorates the resurrection of Jesus.

The word “Easter” comes from the Hebrew “Pesach”, the passage, which became “Pascha” in Latin.

“Pesach” celebrates the flight of Egypt from the Jewish people and the passage of the Red Sea.

Jewish Passover is celebrated on the day of the spring full moon, the 14th of Nizan.

Now, according to the Gospels, it was on the Sabbath eve, during the preparation for Pesach, that the crucifixion of Jesus took place.

His resurrection, three days later, is celebrated by the Christian feast, the Sunday following the spring full moon.

Jewish feast and Christian holiday bear the same name, but Easter is said in the plural among Christians since the sixteenth century, to distinguish itself from the Jewish holiday and to evoke both the passion, the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus.

But Easter is not only a religious holiday, it is also a pagan festival and once represented the celebration of spring, rebirth and the return of light, after the long and sad winter months.


For Christians, Easter evokes above all the memory of Jesus Christ, who died and rose again around the year 30.

Easter Sunday follows Holy Week, during which Jesus had his last meal with the Apostles (Holy Thursday) before being crucified the next day (Good Friday) and then resurrected on the third day, Easter Sunday, a day of rejoicing.

The resurrection of Christ is also celebrated among the Orthodox on the occasion of Easter. Several processions are organized during Holy Week and fasting begins on Monday and ends on Sunday with the tasting of the paschal lamb.

Easter, called “Pesach” in Hebrew, is one of the most important festivals of the Jewish religion.

It commemorates the flight of the Jewish people, freed from slavery in Egypt, and the birth of the children of Israel.

During the Jewish Easter, in memory of this flight from Egypt during which the bread dough did not have time to rise, it is forbidden to eat foods containing yeast.

The Jewish family then cleans the house of all traces of yeast and consumes Mazots: unleavened bread cake

 The Easter holiday varies by religion, but the traditions are also specific to each country, see each region

How do these countries celebrate Easter?


Easter is an important religious holiday in England, which symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Easter in England is celebrated for several days, from Thursday to Sunday in March or April.

To begin, there is Maundy Thursday : Thursday just before Easter Sunday. This Thursday is special, since it is this day that Jesus took his last dinner. The English ceremony includes Her Majesty the Queen. At the Ceremony of the Royal Maundy, the Queen offers cash alms to some senior citizens chosen for their service to the community.

                  The Friday before Easter, Good Friday, is a holiday in England. Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ – so it’s a day of mourning. The churches do not ring, and different services are offered. The faithful are supposed to meditate on the sufferings of Jesus, and what that means for them. It is also a day of fasting. And there are the processions: they are reproductions of the way of the cross.

                  We arrive at the biggest party: Easter Sunday. If Good Friday, almost all businesses are open, this is not the case on Sunday! That day, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.


                  Good Friday, known as Good Friday, and Easter Monday, Easter Monday, allow the English and Welsh to enjoy a long and beneficial weekend.

Easter Monday is always a holiday.

Republic of Ireland:

               Easter Monday is an important day for the Irish because of the insurrection of April 24, 1916: 120 members of the Irish Citizen Army and 700 members of the Irish Volunteer Force marched in O’Connell Street in Dublin and occupy the Central Post Office. It was during this day that Patrick Pearse announced the proclamation of the Republic of Ireland. Despite a counter-attack by the British army the next day, this symbolic Monday marks the first step towards the Republic of Ireland.

                       On Friday before Easter, “Good Friday” is a special day in Ireland. Most companies do not work or close earlier. Regarding pubs, they cannot serve alcohol and stores cannot sell. The radius is closed or barriers are put in front to not be accessible. This law is quite controversial in the country … Many restaurants are closed, so it can be difficult to find a place to eat outside of your home or hotel.

The USA:

               Here, Easter is celebrated on Sunday and Monday is not a holiday. It’s not the bells that bring eggs to children but a rabbit as famous as Santa, Easter Bunny!

“Summer Egg Easter”, a tradition organized by the White House in Washington DC, which is dedicated to encouraging children to live active and healthy lives.


                       Easter is the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day of his crucifixion, which is celebrated on Good Friday. Canadians commonly call “Easter” the period from Good Friday to Easter Monday. Good Friday (or Easter Monday) is a holiday in Canada.

Canadians celebrate Easter just as much as in other Western countries. Many Christians attend religious services on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. In general, it is customary to celebrate this holiday by meeting with family, sharing a meal, doing an Easter egg hunt, or exchanging eggs and chocolate bunnies or small gifts.


                  Easter in Australia is celebrated on Sunday, April 21st.

In Australia, Easter is very important, even more so than in France. Australians are not really more religious than us, and yet it’s one of the most precious weekends of the year for families. For proof, they have two holidays just for this event, it’s Good Friday (Good Friday) and Easter Monday (Easter Monday). In Australia, there are few days of the year when all department stores and museums are closed. In fact, it only happens two days in the year: Good Friday and Christmas Day (you’ll understand, Christmas Day).

South Africa:

            The tradition of Easter eggs is common to almost all nations. If this party rhymes with chocolate in Europe and the United States, in many African countries, Easter rhymes above all with sharing

Differences between countries

The UK : England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland

Easter eggs:

The first eggs offered at Easter were real eggs of birds painted with bright colors. Today, we still painted Easter eggs but children prefer chocolate eggs!!

Easter Bunny:

An Anglo-Saxon legend tells how the goddess Easter found a wounded bird and turned it into a hare so that he spend the winter. The hare notices that he could lay eggs. So each spring, the hare painted them all colors and offered them to the goddess as gifts.

Egg rolling:

This is a very popular game in England that is practice on Easter Monday. We roll hard boiled eggs down a hill. Customs differ from one place to another. The egg of winner can be the one who rolls the furthest which rolls first between two stakes.

Egg hunt:

Small chocolate eggs are hidden. Children must find them during a big egg hunt. Now we can even pick up Easter bunnies.

Hot cross buns:

The rolls with a cross are served traditionally for breakfast on Friday saint. They are accompanied by dried fruits, apple and spices. A traditional song is dedicated to them.

Republic of Ireland

Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ for Christians around the world. On Easter Sunday, the Irish wear new clothes and some also wear a small cross in green, yellow and white ribbon (which represents the symbol of purity and new life). Many of them go to church and then get together for a meal. The Great Post, the Irish in a Winning Cakes.

In the tradition, the Catholics do not eat meat and sweets during Lent (pendant that is to say 40 days before Easter). The Easter Sunday is the day they can eat everything again. Eat eggs from the end of Lent.

Before, from eggs to chocolate, to eggs to hunt for eggs. It is found in houses and gardens, often in the morning.


The Easter Bunny:

No bells or chickens to bring Easter eggs but a bunny: Easter Bunny!

The rabbit tradition comes originally from Germany. It represented fertility and abundance, representing the arrival of spring and was then associated with Easter. This tradition was brought to the USA thanks to the strong immigration of Germans to the United States in the 1700s. So it is this famous “Easter Bunny” that will bring you Easter eggs the days before Easter morning.

Easter eggs:

Unlike Europeans, Americans do not have chocolate eggs but plastic eggs (not to carry diseases) with small chocolates and other candies inside. And especially the very famous marshmallows PEEPs.

Peeps marshmallows:

These marshmallow, at the yellow base, in the form of birds are consumed in masse for Easter. Now existing in in all colors, you will find in all stores as Easter approaches. Sweet enough, it’s always fun to taste it for this party!

Egg hunt

Although Easter Monday is not a holiday, many egg huntings are held throughout the United States. XXL like the one in Central Park or full of activities like the museum of children in Manhattan, you will find your happiness! The traditional white house hunting is also organized every year

The New York Easter Parade:

If you’re lucky enough to be near New York, attend the grand parade that takes place on Easter Sunday. From 10am to 4pm, in the Fifth Avenue between the 49th and 57th, you will have the opportunity to see beautiful costumes, spring and happy.


Easter eggs decoration:

In Canada, Easter egg decoration is usually done with children at school or at home. The traditional Easter egg hunt is organized by community organizations.


Canadians eat a traditional Easter lunch. Popular dishes served on Easter Day in Canada include Bacon and Maple Beans, Cape Breton Nicoise Potatoes and an apple pie. Easter eggs are eaten by mixing them with maple syrup. Most theaters and community halls in Canada’s major cities are booked in advance to stage plays and Easter songs.


The Easter bilby:

In Australia the rabbit no longer has the coast! This animal that has no predator on the island has proliferated since its introduction by Europeans during the second half of the nineteenth century. It devours vegetation, accelerating desertification and threatening ecological balance and agriculture. In addition, it feeds on the same foods as wallabies whose population has since declined. It is therefore considered by the Australians as a true parasite. Bilby is a small marsupial endemic to Australia that resembles rabbits. It is, meanwhile, threatened with extinction because hunted for its soft fur and victim of these predators (wildcats and foxes). To curb its disappearance, the government launched in 2005 the national day of bilby (“National bilby day”). Since the little Aussies have got used to taste, a chocolate bilby instead of the traditional chocolate bunny. Even though chocolate bunnies still exist, the sale of Easter bilbies (or Easter bilbies) is increasing every year. It raises funds to preserve these small mammals.

Hot Cross Buns:

The tradition at Easter in Australia is to enjoy Hot Cross Buns especially on Good Friday. These are small buns with spices with grapes or chocolate chips, topped with a kind of sugar cross on top, representing the cross of Jesus Christ … These small pastries are actually pretty good!


Easter is celebrated around the world. But there is a small island, lost in the Pacific Ocean, far from any inhabited land, which is named after this feast.

However, if the island of Rapa Nui, east of Oceania, is called Easter Island, it is not because it hides Easter eggs among its mysterious statutes of stones. It bears this name because it was discovered by Jakob Roggeven on Easter Day 1722.

MASLIN Clémence ; MONNEREAU Flavie ; PETIT Lisa