Celebrating Easter

Easter Sunday falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox. It marks the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is considered the most important day in the Christian calendar and is the most joyously celebrated.

Easter card [MS 62 Broadlands Archives MB2/F1/43/1]

Easter card [MS 62 Broadlands Archives MB2/F1/43/1]

The celebration of Easter differs across the world. To this day it remains an important festival in Latin America, but here Alfred Salinger, in a letter to his brother Samuel, gives his observations on processions and religious observances in Paraguay during Easter week back in the late nineteenth century:

“During Holy week (Easter) I accepted an invitation from a friend of mine in Asuncion to visit his estate and as one cannot do any business during that week on account of the religious observances which include burning effigies of Judas Iscariot and other ancient notabilities in the principal streets besides other religious processions….”

[MS 209 A1810/1/3 17 April 1896]

Many people celebrate Easter Sunday by decorating, exchanging or searching for eggs. The oldest traditions used dyed eggs, but this has transmuted into the modern one of chocolate eggs. There has remained a strong tradition of decorating eggs in Eastern European cultures. Eggs are not simply dyed, but might be decorated with batik, applique or carving. Taken to quite another level, the House of Fabergé produced beautifully decorated eggs of gold and precious stones for the Russian royal family.

The tradition of sending Easter cards developed from the late nineteenth century. The example above, sent by the Tsarina Alexandra of Russia to Baroness Sophie Buxhoeveden, her lady in waiting, dating from 1915, depicts a Fabergé egg surrounded by yellow daisies

[MS 62 Broadlands Archives MB2/F1/43/1]

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