What can international students expect over Easter
April 4, 2017
Easter is one of the major Christian festivals in the UK but it has also become a secular celebration too.
For international students who are studying in a foreign country, holidays, customs and traditions that they are not familiar with can be a little confusing. With that in mind we thought we’d dedicate this post to outlining what to expect during the Easter period.
Symbols and Customs
Communities and schools sometimes organise Easter egg hunts for children to take part in. This involves children finding Easter eggs that are hidden in a particular place, such as a park, and filling their basket. Sometimes adults take part as a way of raising money for charity.
The Easter Bunny
The Easter Bunny is a fictional character who is said to bring children their chocolate eggs. You may see a lot of rabbit iconography around Easter time in shops, cafes and schools/universities. You may also see images of eggs during easter which are the ultimate symbol of Easter.
This is a folk tradition that dates back centuries. Morris dancers traditionally wear bonnet hats, ribbons, clogs and bells whilst dancing with sticks. Traditionally, Morris troupes were only made up of men but in the North West of England, women have always been involved in the dancing ritual.
Hot cross buns
Hot cross buns are sweet bread treats that are eaten throughout Easter. They are filled with raisins and before they are baked, a cross is carved into the top. Icing is then sprinkled over the bun after baking. They were traditionally made to eat on Good Friday.
In the period leading up to Easter, during Easter and even after Easter, you can expect supermarkets to be filled with chocolate Easter eggs. These are traditionally given to children as gifts and come in a range of different variants.
Whilst not strictly related to Easter, Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday is celebrated exactly 47 days before Easter Sunday and so is somewhat related to the holiday. This day is the day before the start of Lent and eating pancakes was a way of using up food that was discouraged during Lent. Foods such as eggs, butter and fat.
In the UK, Easter occurs at different times each year. This is because it is observed on the first Sunday after the first full moon that occurs following the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. So Easter can occur any time between the 22nd March and the 25th April.
For Christians, this day commemorates the day Jesus was crucified. For non-religious people it is celebrated as a Bank Holiday. This means the majority of people get the day off work (except doctors, firemen etc) and most shops, schools and banks are closed.
This is regarded as the “day of Easter” and commemorates the day Jesus was resurrected. For non-religious people it is simply a time for celebrations and when children can eat their Easter eggs.
In the UK, Easter Monday is the day after easter Sunday and is celebrated as another Bank Holiday.
All of our international study abroad specialists hope you enjoy the easter festivities wherever you are in the UK.