Easter is a Christian holiday. It celebrates the Resurrection or return to life of Jesus Christ. Easter is celebrated on the Sunday after the fourth full moon following Christmas. Easter is the end of a season in the church called LENT. In the USA and other parts of the English-speaking world, Lent is the season after MARDI GRAS. Mardi Gras means „Fat Tuesday“ and is the last day before Lent. The Lenten season begins with ASH WEDNESDAY. Traditionally people gave up eating meat for Lent. The world CARNIVAL comes from this tradition (carne = meat). Even today many people try to give up a bad habit for Lent. Lent lasts for forty days (the Sundays of Lent are nor counted). The Sunday before Easter is PALM SUNDAY. On the Thursday after Palm Sunday (Holy Thursday), Jesus and hos disciples ate supper together. This is called the LAST SUPPER. Jusus Christ was crucified or killed on a cross the next day. The day of the crucifixion is now known as GOOD FRIDAY.
After Jesus Christ died he was buried. His followers were very sad about his death and went to the place where he had been buried to mourn him. When they got there he was gone. They believed that he had gone directly to heaven to be with God, his father. This resurrection is celebrated on Easter.
Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day
Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. The name Shrove comes from the old middle English word „Shriven“. This word means to go to confession to say sorry for the wrong things you`ve done. Lent always starts on a Wednesday, so people went to confession on the day before. The other name for this day, Pancake Day, comes from the old English custom of using up all the fattening ingredients in the house before Lent, so that people were ready to fast during Lent. The fattening ingredients that most people had in their houses in those days were eggs and milk. A very simple recipe to use up these ingredients was to mix them with some flour and make pancakes! The custom of making pancakes still continues today. In many U.K. towns and villages pancake races (where people race with a frying pan while tossing a pancake in it) and pancake tossing competitions are held on Shrove Tuesday. In other countries Shrove Tuesday is known as „Mardi Gras“. This means „Fat Tuesday“ in French and also comes from the idea of using up food before Lent.
Hot cross buns
Hot cross buns, now eaten throughout the Easter season, were first baked in England to be served on Good Friday. These small, lighty sweet yeast buns contain raisins or currants and sometimes chopped candied fruit. Before baking, a cross is slashed in the top of the bun. After baking, a confectioners`sugar icing is used to fil the cross.