Easter offers the perfect opportunity to re-energise after a long winter. Even if you’re not religious, this is a special time of year; the natural world comes back to life, grey skies lift and everything feels fresh and new. But for many of us the Easter break passes in a frenzied flurry of manic chocolate eating – and not much else! This year, why not make a little more of the Easter break; get outside and see an ancient Spring tradition brought to life, try a fun Easter activity or turn your hand to something new in the kitchen…
Here are three Easter traditions to try with your family this season:
Easter has long been connected with chocolate. As far back as Pagan times eggs have been associated with spring, with their potent suggestion of new life and fertility. However it wasn’t until many centuries later that eggs in chocolate form become associated with Easter, and the first chocolate Easter eggs were conceived in 19th-century France. Those first chocolate eggs were a real luxury, and far removed from the standard chocolate eggs that populate supermarket shelves today.
If you’d like to create something with a little more originality than a shop-bought egg, why not try making your own chocolate eggs this year? You can hand-pick your own chocolate, and use products with unusual flavours and higher quality ingredients than those used by the big-name chocolate egg manufacturers. All you need is a suitable egg mould and decorating tools. We found a great recipe for cute mini eggs on Scissorspaperspoon.com. Pop your finished eggs in one of our Easter Chick Sweetie tubs, wrap with cellophane and tie with a ribbon – your handmade chocolate will look truly professional, plus it will taste amazing.
The early Christians took to staining eggs red at Eastertime to symbolise the blood of Jesus’ crucifixion. Since that time, the tradition of painting and decorating eggs has endured, with all kinds of elaborate decorating techniques emerging across all corners of the globe. But you don’t have to be especially creative to make a pretty painted egg, and this is a fun activity for children to try. You can buy special egg painting kits which include helpful stencils, or go freestyle and use the boards on Pinterest to get some creative inspiration. Make an Easter centrepiece using your finished eggs by hanging from some willow branches, inserted into oasis and placed in a plant pot. Or make personalised eggs as gifts. Pop one into an organza bag, add a handful of mini eggs or foil-covered chocolates and attach a name tag – a unique gift, perfect for children to give to grandparents at Easter.
If you’re not too precious about your egg creations why not follow the age-old tradition of egg rolling, a practice that has taken place across rural Britain for centuries. Find a grassy hill and watch them go – the egg that gets the furthest wins!
Simnel Cake has been eaten at Easter since medieval times. A flavoursome fruit cake, topped with marzipan, it’s recognisable for the eleven marzipan balls that edge the cake. These represent Jesus’ eleven apostles – the twelve apostle is noticeably absent to signify Judas’ betrayal of Jesus. Relatively easy to make, a Simnel cake makes an indulgent addition to your Easter table. Present it on our Easter Chick cake stand, surrounded by a gaggle of cute fluffy chicks.
Another fruity option to try is the hot cross bun – again, surprisingly easy to make yourself and there are numerous dependable recipes to choose from online. Traditionally served on Good Friday, enjoy them for breakfast, slathered in butter, or offer them up as afternoon treats, served with fresh jam and a pot of tea.
For the smaller chefs in your household it will be hard to turn their minds from the temptation of chocolate. If there’s one time to indulge them, Easter is it, so let them whip up a chocolately alternative to the more adult-orientated Simnel cake. Make Easter nests from chocolate and cornflakes, topped with colourful mini eggs and presented in an Easter Chick cake case. Or how about chocolate biscuits in the shape of chicks or bunnies, topped with icing and a scattering of sprinkles…a fun way for little ones to take part in your Easter preparations.
For a full range of Easter table ware and accessories, take a look at our Easter Chick Range.