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Every country has its traditions. They play a very important role in the life of the people. One such tradition is Easter.
Easter is a festival that occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon in spring. Easter marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
People buy new clothes to wear on Easter Sunday. There is a popular belief that wearing three new things at Easter will bring good luck in the year.
After church services many people like to take walks down the streets in their new Easter hats and suits. This colourful procession of people dressed in bright new spring clothes is called the Easter Parade. Look! Here's our Easter Parade!
What does "Easter" mean? The word "Easter" comes from the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn whose spring festival was celebrated in April. Before the arrival of Christianity, people believed that the sun died in winter and was born again in spring; on the day of the spring equinox ( день весеннего равноденствия) they would sing and dance as the sun rose in the sky.
Although it is a Christian festival the customs and legends of Easter celebrations are pagan ([языческий) in origin.
Easter is the religious holiday celebrating the Resurrection (воскресение) of Jesus Christ, the son of God. It is at the end of Lent during which children all over the world give up sweets and make other sacrifices in preparation for the highest festival of the church year.
Do you know Easter symbols?
The Cross. It has a special meaning to Christians. It represents Christ's victory over death. It is a significant Easter symbol.
Eggs. Long ago some people believed that the earth appeared from a gigantic egg! On Easter Sunday families and friends exchange chocolate eggs. This custom dates back to ancient times when Egyptians and Persians used to paint eggs in bright colours to represent the sunlight of spring and give them to friends as a symbol of new life.
Easter Rabbits. It is true that in ancient Egypt the rabbit symbolized the moon, new life and birth. All around the world, many children believe that the Easter rabbit (or bunny) brings eggs and hides them for children on Easter morning. There are many different legends but here is a popular one .
Long ago in Germany there lived an old woman who loved children. Each year she gave children presents to celebrate spring. But one year she had nothing to give because it was a bad year and she had become very poor. All she had were some eggs. So she coloured the eggs and hid them in the grass.
When the children arrived, she told them to run out into the yard to find their presents there. Just as one of the children uncovered the eggs, a large rabbit hopped away.
So the children thought that the rabbit had left the eggs for them! And ever since children have searched for the eggs left by the Easter rabbit on Easter morning. It is called the Easter Egg Hunt.
Eggs are an important part of Easter sports. The Romans celebrated the Easter season by running races on an oval track and giving eggs as prizes. One of the traditional Easter egg games is the Easter Egg Roll.
Perhaps the most famous egg rolling takes place on the White House Lawn in Washington. Hundreds of children come with baskets filled with brightly decorated eggs and roll them down hoping the president of the United States is watching the fun.
The rules of the Easter Egg Roll are to see who can roll an egg the greatest distance down a grassy hillside without breaking it. We haven't got a grassy lawn but there is a "hillside" here.
Now you know a lot about Easter eggs. And what about Hot Cross Buns? People eat hot cross buns on Good Friday, it's the day before Easter Sunday. There is a white cross on a bun. And there is another legend about the buns.
1.When do people celebrate Easter? (The first Sunday after the first full moon in spring.) 2.What is the colourful procession of people dressed in new spring clothes called? (The Easter Parade.)
3. What can bring you good luck on Easter? (Wearing three new things.) 4. What Easter games do you know? (Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Egg Roll, Pancake Catching.) 5. What Easter symbols do you remember? (The Cross, eggs, rabbits.) 6. What kind of holiday is Easter? (Christian, religious.) 7. Are there different traditions of Easter festivals in different countries? (No.)