With Easter egg hunts, a bunny mascot and chocolate aplenty, it’s easy to see why Easter is an exciting time for kids! Yet how many of them actually know why we celebrate Easter or where our Easter traditions come from? These fun facts should help you discover how to explain Easter to Kids!
1. The date of Easter changes every year. This is because Easter falls on the first Sunday after the full moon following the March equinox. However, this always occurs on or between 22nd March and 25th April.
2. Easter is the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the oldest Christian tradition. It is also considered to be the most important date on the Christian calendar.
3. Easter marks the end of the 40-day period of Lent, which is a traditional time of fasting that begins on Ash Wednesday.
4. The week before Easter is known as Holy Week. This begins on Palm Sunday and includes Maundy Thursday (the day of the Last Supper), Good Friday (the day of Christ’s crucifixion) and Holy Saturday (the time between the crucifixion and resurrection).
5. Eggs are associated with Easter because eggs (along with milk and meat) were forbidden during Lent. Any remaining eggs would be used up on the day before Lent, Shrove Tuesday, which is also known as Pancake Tuesday. The eggs accumulated during Lent would then be eaten at Easter.
6. Eggs are also associated with Easter since they are a symbol of fertility and rebirth, linking them with springtime and with the celebration of the resurrection.
7. Decorating Easter eggs first began with the custom of staining eggs red to symbolise the blood shed by Christ during the crucifixion. The practice of painting Easter eggs is called pysanka. Find out an easy way to start the tradition with your kids of dyeing eggs for Easter with kids here.
8. Hot cross buns were one of the earliest Easter treats, and were made by European monks to be given out to the poor during Lent. They have become less traditional over time with many supermarkets selling them all year round.
9. The word ‘Easter’ comes from Ēosturmōnaþ (meaning Easter month), an Old English name for the month of April, which was named after Ēostre, the Pagan goddess of spring and fertility.
10. The first chocolate Easter eggs were made in France and Germany as far back as the early 19th century. The first Cadbury Easter eggs were made in 1875 which is documented in the story of Cadbury Easter Eggs. They are most famous today for their delicious Cadbury creme eggs sold all year round YUM!
11. The tallest chocolate Easter egg ever made 10.39 metres high and weighed 7,200 kilogrammes, making it taller than a giraffe and heavier than an elephant!
12. The idea of the Easter Bunny originated among German Lutherans as the Easter Hare, which was said to judge whether children had been good or bad, to determine if they deserved Easter eggs. The first mention of this character in literature appeared in a story in 1682.
13. Easter is celebrated in different ways around the world. In Sweden, instead of an Easter Bunny, they have an Easter Wizard, and the kids dress as witches and wizards like our Halloween! Check out this video which explains other things the Swedish do differently. (They aren’t alone- Easter means different things to many different cultures).
14. Since rabbits are an introduced pest species in Australia, the Easter Bilby is often celebrated instead of the Easter Bunny, and chocolate bilbies are sold. Both Pink Lady Chocolates and Haigh’s Chocolates donate proceeds from their sales of chocolate bilbies to support bilby conservation.
Dates of Easter by Year
In the coming years, Easter will fall on the following dates:
- 2016 — 27th March
- 2017 — 16th April
- 2018 — 1st April
- 2019 — 21st April
- 2020 — 12th April
- 2021 — 4th April
- 2022 — 17th April
- 2023 — 9th April
- 2024 — 31st March
- 2025 — 20th April
We love Easter at Brisbane Kids and have lots of resources to help make Easter memorable and awesome!
Easter Egg Hunts Ideas for Older Kids
Finding different ways of challenging your older child to find their Easter Eggs is what this post is all about. It makes it a lot more fun for them and for you and ensures some appreciation for the goodies that they will receive. Read Easter Eggs Hunts for Older Kids
Non Chocolate Easter Egg Gifts
Maybe you want to avoid the sugar or maybe you have a child who simply isn’t able to gobble up 20 Easter Eggs for medical or allergy reasons. If it is for allergy reasons then head to your local health food shop and you will find some dairy and sugar free alternatives if you still want your child to experience the traditional Easter Egg experience. If it is simply because you want to avoid the food reward them you will love this post on non-chocolate Easter Egg gift alternatives
Easter Colouring Sheets (Printable)
Celebrations throughout the year are a great time to get the kids crafting and colouring as gifts for family or simply to mark the year, at the age they are for a memory box. For some families it is simply about having fun around Easter and perhaps popping an Easter drawing (coloured in) on the fridge. Find a good collection here
For more Easter fun, ideas, crafts and more, check out our Easter page here.