Easter Sunday in United Kingdom

Easter Sunday in the United Kingdom is traditionally about Jesus Christ’s resurrection from death, according to Christian belief. However, many people use the day to decorate Easter eggs, share chocolate eggs and participate in Easter egg competitions.

The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox. It is the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the March equinox.

Easter MondayEaster eggs are a popular treat for children on Easter Sunday. ©iStockphoto.com/Shannon Long
Easter 2013: events in the UK Families can enjoy a host of egg trails across the country, from Kew Gardens to Cadbury World

What do people do?

People who regularly attend church often attend special services on Easter Sunday. These may be longer or more elaborate than on other Sundays. In churches, it is generally a festive occasion with an emphasis on the dawn of a new life. In Battersea Park in London, there is a large Easter parade.

Easter is an important time for the confectionery industry. In the United Kingdom, Easter eggs are often large hollow chocolate eggs filled with bonbons or other candy. The eggs are covered in decorative foil and packaged in elaborate boxes.

Many people celebrate Easter Sunday by decorating, exchanging or searching for eggs. The eggs may be fresh or boiled eggs laid by chickens or other birds, chocolate eggs or eggs made of other materials. Many children believe that the Easter bunny or rabbit comes to their house or garden to hide eggs. They may search for these eggs or find that the Easter bunny has left them in an obvious place.

Some businesses and attractions hold Easter egg hunts. These can be competitions to see who can collect the most eggs. In some parts of the United Kingdom, people roll hard boiled down slopes. In other places, there is a game in which people roll hard boiled eggs against other peoples’ eggs. The winner is the person whose egg remains whole. After the game, the eggs are eaten. In some parts of Scotland, fondant filled chocolate eggs about the size of a hen’s egg are covered in batter and deep fried.

Public life

On Easter Sunday nearly all non-essential businesses and organizations are closed. In England and Wales, stores are also closed. In Scotland, they are allowed to open.  Public transport systems may run on a different schedule from other Sundays. In some areas there may be no public transport.

Background and symbols

Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox. For many people, Easter marks the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion. However, many of the origins of the customs around Easter originate in the pagan beliefs held by the inhabitants of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland before they were converted to Christianity.

Easter 2013: events in the UK

The best Easter events and activities taking place in Britain this weekend.

Easter egg hunts

Families can enjoy a host of Easter egg hunts across the country, from Cumbria’s ‘Great Peter Rabbit Hunt’, taking place over a 6,800 square kilometre-field with 50 limited edition ceramic eggs, to an egg hunt at Berkshire’s Highclere Castle, the filming location of ‘Downton Abbey’, and the ‘Chocolate Quest’ at London’s Kew Gardens.

The National Trust also hosts several egg trails and other family activities, from egg rolling to face painting and duck racing, at over 240 of its properties.

Mad Hatter Eggstravaganza

Children can meet the Mad Hatter and March Hare on Good Friday at the Alice in Wonderland-themed event hosted by the National Waterfront Museum. They will also be able to use a ‘magical mirror’ to discover clues at the ‘Looking Glass Trail’ to claim their chocolate prizes during the Easter weekend.


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