In Scotland Easter is a very important time of year. It is a time to become united for rich church celebrations, for relaxation and leisure and for fun and spending time with loved ones, usually hunting out eggs on a trail or watching horse displays and battle re-enactments.
This year unfortunately it won’t be possible to enjoy public celebrations but why not setting up your own Easter egg hunt around your house or garden? Or turn your hand to one of these crafty afternoon activities – we would love to see what you come up with! Here a few ideas to start off: https://www.nts.org.uk/stories/easy-easter-craft-ideas
Did you know, according to Christian scripture, Jesus rose from his tomb three days after his crucifixion? Today Christians celebrate the resurrection on Resurrection Sunday (two days after Good Friday and three days after Maundy Thursday). Traditionally the Easter season lasts for forty days, from Easter Day until Ascension Day.
However, Easter is also linked to Paganism and originated in the 2nd century; it was the celebration of the return of Spring and commemorated Goddess Oestre (Eastre), the goddess of springtime. She represented the sunrise, springtime, fertility and the renewal of life. In some parts of the country huge fires are lit on Saturday as a mark of this Pagan tradition.
Although Easter is that time of year to feast on chocolate, there are also other traditional foods you can serve, including a special bun baked with spices and fruits known as a hot cross bun, eggs, potatoes and lamb.
Easter eggs also known as Paschal eggs are the traditional gift given at Eastertide, they are usually decorated bright colours and, in Christianity, are thought to symbolize the empty tomb from which Jesus rose. Pagan Anglo-Saxons made offerings of brightly coloured eggs to Eastre and placed them at graves as a charm of rebirth, very appropriate for springtime.
Eating Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday traditionally marks the end of Lent because they are made with dairy products which are forbidden during this period. The cross marking on the bun symbolises the crucifixion of Jesus and the spices used in the dough represent Jesus’ embalming.
If you want to try to bake some homemade ones, here’s the recipe: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/traditional-hot-cross-buns/
The Easter Roast Lamb has its roots in early Passover observances before the birth of Christianity. When Egypt experienced plagues and deaths of first-born sons, Jews painted lamb blood on their doors so that God would ‘pass over’ their homes while punishing sinners. Later when certain Jews converted to Christianity, they carried over the tradition of eating lamb.
Here’s a traditional roast lamb recipe to give your Easter a boost: http://www.rampantscotland.com/recipes/bldev_recipe_lamb.htm
Traditional folklore also suggests that Good Friday is the best time to plant potatoes as the temperatures are generally still cool, but the soil is soft enough to cultivate.
Now that we have a lot of time on our hands, we can dedicate some to our allotments!
During the past years Fort Augustus organised Easter activities for everyone and it will again in the future but for now please stay home, eat chocolate (and buns!) and have as much fun as you possibly can!