Easter is a celebrated Christian holiday but unlike Christmas falls on a different date each year. It falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere and is typically between the dates of 22nd March and 25th April.
Easter marks the end of Lent, a time of fasting and the celebration of new life. Christians and non-Christians give and receive chocolate eggs, often participating in games such as an Easter egg hunt, egg decorating and rolling and enjoying family gatherings, as well as attending a special Easter church service of light, flowers and music. Children often parade in decorated home made hats.
Good Friday and Easter Monday are bank holidays in the UK, therefore, extending the weekend allowing families and friends to come together. Educational facilities are usually closed for a 2-3 week period before returning for the final term of the academic year.
On Good Friday, hot cross buns are traditionally eaten and church services are held to commemorate Jesus Christ.
As Easter falls on a Sunday a roast dinner is the popular choice, usually lamb, as this is in season along with seasonal vegetables, roast potatoes and gravy. Boiled ham is also traditional for some families. Simnel cake, filled with fruit, spices and marzipan is a cake of choice but its origins are unclear.