Our pick of the best Easter events and family days out and lovely homemade gifts to celebrate Easter
When is Easter in 2019?
This year the Easter weekend falls on 19 to 22 April.
Why does the date of Easter change each year?
The date of Easter changes as a result of the lunar calendar. Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the full moon in the period from 22 March to 25 April, and always after the March Spring Equinox.
This is the time of year when the sun shines directly on the equator, making night and day nearly equal all over the world. Ecclesiastically fixed on 21st March, the Spring Equinox heralds the beginning of the new season, even though our Gregorian calendars date spring from the beginning of March. The Spring Equinox has traditionally been celebrated as a time of rebirth or renewal, hence why in Christianity, Easter Sunday represents the resurrection of Christ.
1. The exquisite Fabergé eggs were invented in 1885 as Easter gifts for the Russian royal family to give to family and friends.
2. In early 1880s in parts of Germany, eggs were used as birth certificates. They were dyed, inscribed and decorated and could even be used as proof of identity in court.
3. The largest ever Easter egg hunt was in Florida, where 9,753 children searched for 501,000 eggs.
4. The name Easter is thought to come from the German goddess Eostre, whose name derives from Proto-Germanic meaning ‘dawn’.
5. As part of a Good Friday tradition, the English would hang a hot cross bun in the house for an entire year to protect the kitchen from fire and ensure perfect bread.
Best Easter events in 2019
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire/Credit: Getty
Explore ‘Capability’ Brown Parkland and Pleasure Gardens at the spectacular Blenheim Palace while hunting for decorated eggs. Children will love meeting the Easter Bunny, marvelling at a bubble artist and jumping on the bungee trampolines. A traditional vintage fairground and Punch & Judy show are also on offer.
© Martin – geograph.org.uk/p/571
Bring your favourite teddy bear and a blanket along for this fun family event. There’ll be special activities including storytelling, photo opportunities with the castle’s resident teddy bears, games and more.
This Easter, meet new arrivals to the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall. 29 of Heligan’s rare breed ewes are pregnant and set to give birth from the beginning of April, heralding the beginning of Spring on Home Farm. Visitors can pop into The Barn and could well witness the miracle of birth and meet some very new, very small, new friends. www.heligan.com
Martha Lamb has been born at the Lost Gardens of Heilgan and is one of 42 lambs due to the Heligan rare breed ewes this month.
Lowther castle is a 19th century country house in Cumbria, Getty
Search for dragon eggs in the gardens of Cumbria’s Lowther Castle – those with an eye for chocolate and the patience to match will be rewarded with treasure.
A little girl sits in a field of daffodils on an egg hunt/ Credit: Imogen Tinkler
This weekend, the National Trust has more than 250 Easter egg hunts taking place across the country that children of all ages will love. After your egg hunt, why not explore the National Trust’s gardens, woodlands, mystical lakes, and sandy beaches.
Find your nearest egg-hunt: easter.cadbury.co.uk
Head to Countrytastic in Malvern to meet farmyard animals, make a clay pony, learn how cheese is made and ask Countryfile’s Adam Henson your questions about farming.
Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire, England founded in the 12th century by the Peverel family now an English Heritage property/ Credit: Getty
For valiant young adventurers and knights, Bolsover Castle is offering an intrepid hunt for dragon eggs this Easter. Perched high on the site of a medieval fortress, Bolsover Castle offers the perfect place for young imaginations to thrive.
A lamb in a field of wild flowers/ Credit: Getty Peter Cade
A full programme of spring farm activities, including animal handling, milking, tractor rides, and pig races is happening at Bocketts Farm Park in Surrey this Easter. With 350 lambs due in the coming weeks, you may get the chance to watch some live lambing at Bocketts Farm this Easter weekend. There will be ‘meet the shepherd’ sessions throughout the day, giving you the chance to learn all about being a farmer. Chicks and ducklings will be cheeping in the small animal village, and children can enjoy the tale of The Golden Goose at the storytelling sessions.
Osborne on the Isle of Wight, holiday home of Queen Victoria/ Credit: Getty De Agostini / W. Buss
The beautiful grounds of Osborne on the Isle of Wight, will play host to an intrepid adventure. Hunt for dragon eggs among the daffodil-filled gardens of Queen Victoria’s palatial holiday home.
Meet farm animals, ride in a horse and cart, or pootle along in a mini tractor at the Whiteley Village Easter Farm Fair. Local producers and farmers will be selling seasonal produce, with egg-hunting and crafts taking place throughout the day.
Enjoy the annual egg rolling event in Preston/Credit: Alamy
Egg rolling is a big Easter tradition in Preston, going back back hundreds of years. The winner’s egg may be the one that rolls the farthest, survives the most rolls, or is rolled between two pegs. Enjoy live music, street theatre and Easter bonnet making – and don’t forget to bring your own egg to roll down the hill.
Recipes for Easter treats
Sweet, crumbly and heavenly light, these moreish macaroons are easy to bake for an Easter gathering.
Although it sounds ambitious, making chocolate Easter eggs is remarkably simple. With oodles of chocolate involved, it is the ideal way to spend a cosy evening in the run up to Easter. All you need is an egg mould and 250g of chocolate.
The meringue’s crunchiness is mixed with the zest of lemon and is finished with the topping of whipped cream, creating a mouth watering taste that should not be missed.
Boiling an egg should be so simple – yet so often something goes wrong. Follow Claire Thomson’s foolproof method.
Easter decoration ideas
An Easter Tree is a wonderful addition to your home this spring. Hang colourful painted eggs from branches on your kitchen table.
Use natural dyes and materials to make Easter Eggs with a difference.