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Peep into the Past: Easter Traditions for Every Bunny!

By Marie-Antoinette Issa.

Whether it's sharing a seafood feast or savouring the sweetness of all things chocolate, here are five of the most popular Easter traditions explained: 

As Easter approaches, it brings with it a myriad of traditions deeply rooted in history and culture. From indulging in seafood feasts on Good Friday to eagerly hunting for Easter eggs come Easter Sunday morning, each ritual holds its own significance - often blending ancient customs with modern interpretations to create a unique tapestry of festivities.

To help you understand exactly why so many Aussies queue up to snap up their fish market favourites; or, the growing popularity of Biscoff hot cross buns, here are five of the most popular Easter traditions explained:  

Seafood feast on Good Friday
Peep into the Past: Easter Traditions for Every Bunny!

Whether it’s an early morning visit to the fish markets, or, opting for a battered Filet-O-Fish burger instead of a Big Mac on the long weekend road trip, for many, the observance of Good Friday (the Friday before Easter Sunday) involves abstaining from meat -instead, partaking in seafood delicacies.

This tradition finds its origins in the Christian practice of fasting and penance during Lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter), with Good Friday, specifically commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus. For Christians, it is a day of solemn reflection and abstaining from meat symbolises a sacrifice akin to Christ's.

Seafood, particularly fish, has historically also been associated with abundance, sustenance and Christ’s fishermen friends - making it a fitting choice for this observance. For more secular fans of Easter, it’s an excellent opportunity to experiment with some fabulous fish recipes.

What about the Easter Bunny?
Peep into the Past: Easter Traditions for Every Bunny!

The iconic figure of the fluffy Easter Bunny has become synonymous with the Easter holidays, especially in Western culture. The origins of this cute character can be traced back to ancient pagan traditions that celebrated the arrival of spring and fertility.

Rabbits, known for their prolific breeding, symbolised new life and rebirth; themes that also resonate deeply with the Christian concepts associated with the Easter season. Over time, the Easter Bunny has evolved into a beloved symbol of the holiday, delighting children (and some adults!) with his whimsical association with Easter egg hunts and sweet treats.

All about Easter egg hunts

Peep into the Past: Easter Traditions for Every Bunny!
The tradition of Easter egg hunts is a cherished pastime for children - and yes, some competitive adults alike! While the custom of decorating eggs predates Christianity (it was initially practised by ancient civilisations as a symbol of fertility and new beginnings), with the advent of Christianity, the egg took on new significance as a representation of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Today, Easter egg hunts continue to bring communities together in a spirit of camaraderie and fun, as participants of all ages eagerly search for hidden treasures and enjoy the thrill of the hunt.

Chocolate everything
Peep into the Past: Easter Traditions for Every Bunny!

Did you even celebrate Easter if you didn’t consume your body weight in chocolate? No Easter celebration would be complete without indulging in delicious chocolate treats.

While chocolate eggs and bunnies have become staples of modern Easter festivities, their origins can actually be traced back to the ancient Mesoamerican civilisations who revered chocolate as a sacred elixir.

With the arrival of Europeans in the Americas, chocolate was introduced to the rest of the world, eventually becoming intertwined with Easter traditions. Today, chocolate serves as a decadent symbol of indulgence and celebration during the holiday season.

The boom of hot cross buns
Peep into the Past: Easter Traditions for Every Bunny!

The tradition of enjoying hot cross buns during Easter has been practised for centuries. According to many historians, the modern hot cross bun has its roots in St Albans, England. 

In 1361, Brother Thomas Rodcliffe, a Christian monk from the 14th Century at St Albans Abbey, created a comparable recipe known as an ‘Alban Bun’ and shared it with the impoverished on Good Friday.

Today, these spiced sweet buns, marked with a cross on top, continue to carry religious significance - namely the cross symbolising the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Additionally, the spices used in traditional hot cross buns, such as cinnamon and nutmeg, are believed to represent the spices used to embalm Christ's body.

Regardless of religious beliefs, hot cross buns remain a beloved Easter treat, enjoyed by families around the world as a symbol of unity and remembrance. In fact, with the introduction of buns flavoured with chocolate, Biscoff, apple, and even Iced Vovo, they are probably more symbolic of the universal love of all things sweet! 
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