Easter Bank Holiday: When Is Easter 2023?
Come end of Jan, and supermarkets are already stocking their shelves with Easter-themed treats to carry us through until the Easter Bank Hol, but have you ever stopped to think why we have chocolate eggs in the first place? Or what it actually means to take part in Lent?
Here's your 101 on all things Easter 2023, from when it is to how we celebrate.
When is Easter?
This year Easter lands on Sunday, 9 April.
Easter always lands between the 22 March and 25 April, and falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurs, following the spring equinox.
What is Easter?
Easter is the most important holiday in the Christian calendar. It symbolises Jesus rising from the dead, three days after he was executed.
What is Holy week?
Holy week is the week which takes place between Palm Sunday and Easter, and it's considered the most sacred week in Christianity.
This year it lands between Sunday, 2 April – Saturday, 8 April.
How do we celebrate Easter?
Typically, Easter is a religious celebration. But more often than not, non-religious people also mark the day with various activities. From brunches to family get-togethers and Easter egg hunts, there's lots of ways to celebrate.
Traditionally though, Christians celebrate Easter by attending special church services, exchanging gifts and spending time with their families.
Why do we have Easter eggs?
The chocolate egg represents fertility, new life and the beginning of spring.
Christians use the egg as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The hard shell of an egg symbolises the tomb in which Jesus was kept, and the chick inside represents Jesus himself.
Are shops open during Easter?
Many supermarkets and shops tend to limit their opening hours or close on Easter Sunday. This is because Easter Sunday is classed as a public bank holiday.
Although supermarkets will be closed on Easter Sunday, leading up to and thereafter most shops will be open but might incur earlier closing times.
What is Lent?
Lent is a period of six weeks (40 days, not including Sundays) leading up to Easter.
It's used amongst Christians as a time to remember the events leading up to and including the death of Jesus Christ. During this time, Christians abstain from eating animal products such as meat, eggs and dairy.
Catholic Easter vs Orthodox Easter
Orthodox Easter always lands after the more widely recognised and celebrated, Catholic Easter. This is because the Orthodox church follows the Julian calendar over the Gregorian calendar. So, depending on what church you follow, determines the date you celebrate Easter.
This year, Orthodox Easter lands on Sunday, 16 April.
How is Easter celebrated around the world?
Of course, we're aren't the only ones who celebrate Easter. Easter's actually celebrated in around 95 countries across the world.
In Spain, Easter is marked through elaborate religious processions in almost every town and village across the country. In Germany, Holy Saturday is celebrated by lighting bonfires. And in Italy, people dress in costumes and parade artefacts, statues and olive branches.