What does Easter mean in the modern day UK?
Within an increasingly cosmopolitan society, the national Easter bank holiday understandably means different things to different people. Even though it’s an important event in the Christian calendar, it will offer many families some much-appreciated paid time off work to spend together.
According to a recent online poll by ComRes, 76% of people surveyed believed that the Easter Bunny means more to today’s children than Jesus. However, if you thought Easter was solely a Christian festival, it’s worth noting that traditional spring festivals which pre-date Christianity often coincide with the date of the Christian calendar’s Easter. As part of these festivals, eggs were traditionally used as a symbol of new life, purity or fertility. Later egg customs were linked with Easter because they provided a powerful symbol of the Resurrection and the transformation of death into life. Also, the pagan tradition of wearing Easter bonnets is related to the celebration of new life and the arrival of spring, with early bonnets made from leaves and spring flowers.
So what will Easter mean to you? Judging by the bulging shelves in the supermarkets it will mean a lot of chocolate! A recent survey published by the Daily Mail discovered that the average child in the UK will receive £56 worth of chocolate or presents this Easter alone, and will consume an additional 8,000 calories as a result. That’s a lot of eggs!
For others, they may have a traditional family roast planned, a trip to a theme park, a long weekend away or perhaps a trip to church. Those with children may even choose to join a mass Easter egg hunt (though sadly a recent health and safety survey ordered one of the National Trust’s famous egg hunts to be cancelled this year due to the high risk of mud)!
Whatever you choose to do, it’s a great chance to spend some time with friends or family and celebrate the arrival of spring. Whether you will be worshipping Jesus or worshipping Cadburys this weekend, most will agree that Easter still successfully represents hope, new life and an appreciation of those around us.
What does Easter mean to you? Will you be joining an Easter egg hunt, or will the mud be just too much? Tell us what you think by sharing your opinion on our Facebook page.
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