In case you didn't already know Easter Sunday isn't always on the same date. In fact it can fall any time between March 22 and April 25, depending on the year.
This year Easter Sunday is April 16, with Good Friday on April 14, and Easter Monday on April 17.
The date changes because the feast of Easter is based on the lunar calendar. The UK, which follows the Gregorian calendar, celebrates Easter on the Sunday following the first full moon that occurs after the first day of spring.
The Thursday before Easter is called Maundy Thursday when we celebrate the last day of Jesus’ life and the day of the Last Supper.
It is tradition for the Queen to take part in the Maundy Thursday celebrations by distributing what is called 'Maundy Money' to deserving senior citizens. One man and one woman are chosen to represent each year of the Monarch’s age. These are citizens that have done great service in the community and are chosen to receive a red and white purse containing one coin for every year of rule by the Monarch.
Good Friday is treated as a day of mourning in the UK. Churches remain unlit and bare, with no decorations or flowers; some churches even cover their statues and paintings. Many churches hold a ceremony at 3 o’clock, as this is said to be the time that Jesus died on the cross.
Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten by Christians on Good Friday. The bread serves as a reminder of Jesus dying for our sins due to the shape of the cross that appears across the top of the bun.
Easter Sunday is one of the most important holidays in the church. It symbolises remembrance of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, implying that death is not the end of our journey. The churches celebrate Easter Sunday with bell ringing, flowers (generally white lilies), and a white and gold colour pallet inside of the church hall.
Most schools in Chester and Ellesmere Port now have standardised holidays with children off for two weeks 'spring break' over the first two weeks of April regardless of when Easter falls. This year the long Easter weekend will fall at the end of the two week school holiday.