суббота, 3 апреля 2010 г.


In the UK Easter is one of the major Christian festivals of the year. It is full of customs, folklore and traditional food. However, Easter in Britain has its beginnings long before the arrival of Christianity. Many theologians believe Easter itself is named after the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn and spring - Eostre. In Britain Easter occurs at a different time each year. It is observed on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. This means that the festival can occur on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25. Not only is Easter the end of the winter, it is also the end of Lent. Over Easter schools in the UK close for two weeks. Many of the symbols and traditions of Easter are connected with renewal, birth, good luck and fertility. Of course as it is a Christian festival one of the main symbols is a cross, often on a hill. When Jesus was crucified, the cross became a symbol of suffering. Then with the resurrection, Christians saw it as a symbol of victory over death. In A.D. 325, Constantine issued a decree at the Council of Nicaea, that the Cross would be the official symbol of Christianity. Easter eggs are a very old tradition going to a time before Christianity. Eggs are a symbol of spring and new life. Exchanging and eating Easter eggs is a popular custom in many countries. In the UK before they were replaced by chocolate, the eggs were hard-boiled and dyed in various colors and patterns. The traditionally bright colours represented spring and light. An older more traditional game is one in which real eggs are rolled against one another or down a hill. The owner of the egg that stayed uncracked the longest won. Even today in the north of England, for example as at Preston in Lancashire, they still carry out the custom of egg rolling. Hard boiled eggs are rolled down slopes to see whose egg goes furthest. In other places another game is played. You hold an egg in the palm of the hand and bang against your opponent's egg. The loser is the one whose egg breaks first. The same traditional game people have in Russia. Nowadays British people give each other Easter eggs made of chocolate, usually hollow and filled with sweets. Children believe that if they are good the «Easter Bunny» will leave eggs for them. They hunt for chocolate eggs hidden about the home or garden by the Easter bunny. Rabbits, due to their fecund nature, have always been a symbol of fertility. The Easter bunny (rabbit) however may actually be an Easter hare. The hare was a companion of the ancient Moon goddess and of Eostre. The bunny as an Easter symbol first mentioned in German writings in the 16th century. The first edible Easter bunnies appeared in Germany during the early 1800s, they were made of pastry and sugar. Easter was once a traditional day for getting married, that may be why people often dress up for Easter. Women make and wear special Easter bonnets - decorated with flowers and ribbons. Even today in Battersea in London there is a special Easter Parade, where hand-made bonnets are shown off. Hot cross buns, now eaten throughout the Easter season, were first baked in England to be served on Good Friday. These small, lightly 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 fill the cross. Other Easter symbols are chickens, bread and wine. The chicks are born from eggs and are a symbol of spring and Easter. Bread is eaten to remember Jesus's sacrifice. Red wine is drunk to remember Jesus shedding His blood for humans.
Easter Poems
I Had an Easter Bunny
I had an Easter bunny,
One day she ran away.
I looked for her by moonlight,
I looked for her by day.

I found her in the meadow
With her babies 1, 2, 3.
So now I have four rabbit pets
To run and jump with me.

Easter comes but once a year
Easter comes but once a year
But when it does, we all know its here
Children filling themselves with chocolate
Dad's down the pub for a pint of beer!
We go to the church for the wine and bread
Dad's half asleep, and jerking his head
Baby sister is here too, munching away
On the free easter egg that the Priest gave us today
But remember we must, that the Lord died for us
And ascended into heaven to give us fresh lives
For each and every one of us.
lent – великий пост
fertility – плодородие богатство
to crucify - распинать
resurrection - воскрешение
fecund - плодовитый
yeast bun – сдобная булка с изюмом
raisin - изюм
currant - смородина
candied fruit - цукаты
slash – вырезать
to shed blood for somebody – проливать кровь за кого-то

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