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Easter in Britain (Intermediate)

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Пасха (Easter) в Великобритании — самый древний и важный праздник богослужебного года после Рождества. В первый день Пасхи принято отдыхать и ходить в гости к родным, прихватив с собой угощения. Обязательным условием является радоваться и не держать в сердце зла.

А что знаете вы о праздновании Пасхи в Великобритании? Какие традиции и символы связаны с этим светлым праздником?

Discuss the following questions:

Do you know anything about Easter traditions in Great Britain?

What does Easter symbolize?

Reading

The annual Pancake Race Tradition on Shrove Tuesday dates back to 1445. On this day large numbers of people, often in fancy dress, race down streets tossing pancakes.

Read an article and find out interesting facts about Easter in Great Britain

For Christians Easter Sunday is the high point of the year. They celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

As in many other European and New World countries, eggs and rabbits (signs of fertility and new life) are traditional symbols of Easter in the British Isles. Chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs, often adorned in colorful foil wrappers, are given to children as presents or are hidden for the Easter morning "egg hunt."

The tradition of decorating real eggs for Easter dates back to the Middle Ages. In 1290 the English king, Edward I, ordered 450 eggs to be covered in gold leaf to be given as Easter presents. It is thought that the bright hues used to decorate Easter eggs were meant to mirror the colors of the reawakening spring growth.

Another British Easter custom is egg rolling or the egg race, when competitors try to be the first to roll their egg across a course or down a hill… without breaking it!

Aside from eggs, the best-known English Easter food is probably the hot cross bun. Dating back to medieval times, the buns were traditionally eaten on Good Friday, but they are now popular all around the Easter season. These sweet treats, fragrant with fruit and spices, are marked with a cross, either slashed into the dough before baking, or drizzled on in icing afterwards. The history of hot cross buns dates far back to the pre-Christian era. It is thought that they are descendants of the small cakes offered to Eostre, the goddess of spring. They may have been marked with a cross even in ancient times, to represent the four quarters of the moon. In later centuries the church, unable to stamp out ancient pagan traditions, decided instead to "Christianize" the buns by associating the cross with that of Jesus.

Easter Sunday in the British Isles is traditionally marked by church services, often held at dawn so that worshippers can view the sunrise, a symbol of Christ's resurrection. Afterwards Easter eggs are exchanged and eaten.

Easter parades were also once an important tradition, during which people would wear their new clothes - the ladies in particular would show off their new "Easter bonnets" - as another sign of spring's renewal. Later the family would gather for Easter lunch or dinner, which in England traditionally consisted of roast spring lamb with mint sauce, potatoes and green peas. There was time to rest from the celebrations the next day, since Easter Monday is traditionally a holiday in Britain.

Answer the questions:

Why are eggs and rabbits traditional symbols of Easter?

What is the best-known English Easter food?

Why is the sunrise important for worshippers?

What other signs of spring’s renewal are there?

Listening

Watch the videos on Easter Day in the UK

Easter Traditions and Symbols in Great Britain

British Holidays: Easter (with subtitles)

Discuss the following:

How do you celebrate Easter in your country?

Do you have Easter traditions in your family?

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