This webquest by Luke Vyner includes activities on the history of Easter, Easter symbols, celebrations around the world and little-known facts about the spring festival. It is free to all onestopenglish users.

Easter

Warmer

What do you know about Easter and the history of Easter? Discuss your ideas with a partner.

Activity 1: The history of Easter

Read through the questions below and see if you know any of the answers. Then, visit  www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-15/the-origins-of-easter-from-pagan-roots-to-chocolate-eggs/8440134 to find out if you were right. Compare your answers with your partner.

  1. What festival did Easter begin as?
  2. When does Easter fall, and what determines its date?
  3. What does the name ‘Easter’ come from?
  4. What still happens in many European countries on Easter Sunday?
  5. What animals were symbolically linked to the goddess Eostre?
  6. What were the first edible easter bunnies made from?

Activity 2: The Easter bunny and other Easter symbols

Go to www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/easter-ideas/g191/history-easter-traditions and scroll through the gallery. Read the texts and decide whether the following sentences are true (T) or false (F). If the sentences are false, correct them.

Easter bunny

  1. The Easter bunny traditions came from the Bible.
  2. The Easter bunny symbolizes fertility and new life.
  3. It is derived from an old Danish tradition.

Easter eggs

  1. Easter eggs are related to ancient traditions.
  2. For early Christians, Easter eggs represented the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  3. The Easter colours of the Christian church are yellow, red and green.

Easter sweets

  1. Exchanging chocolate and sweets (candy) first became popular around 1950.
  2. Chocolate eggs have been eaten for two centuries.
  3. Jelly beans might have become popular at Easter because they are shaped like eggs.

Hot cross buns

  1. Hot cross buns are sweet, round breads filled with currants and spices with crosses on the top.
  2. English people believed buns baked on Easter Sunday were lucky.
  3. Hot cross buns are still seen as lucky today.

Activity 3: Easter around the world

a. You will be given either a country or a group of countries to research. Consider the questions below, and write a summary in your own words of what you have read.

  1. What unique traditions does the country have?
  2. What religious traditions do the people of the country practise?
  3. What do people wear?
  4. What do people eat?
  5. Are there any special days that are celebrated?

b. Share your findings with your classmates. What were the most interesting traditions? Which were the strangest?

Activity 4: Things you didn’t know about Easter!

a. How much more do you know about Easter? Complete the sentences below if you know the answers.

b. Visit the weblink: content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1889922_1890008_1889927,00.htmland read the ten sections of the article to complete the sentences. You will have to click on the arrow to move to the next section.

  1. ____________________________ appears in several ancient traditions as a symbol for ____________________________.
  2. The traditional pastries eaten on Good Friday in the UK are known as ____________________________.
  3. In Ethiopia, Easter is known as ____________________________ , and people fast from meat and dairy for ____________________________ before celebrating.
  4. In Sweden and areas of Finland, ____________________________ wear shawls and old skirts that are too big for them, and visit people’s houses to ask for ____________________________.
  5. Beginning in the mid-1800s, ____________________________ New Yorkers would parade their riches after leaving church.
  6. The first Sunrise Service in America was arranged by ____________________________. The purpose of the Mass is to remember ____________________________ that Mary found on Easter morning.

Compare your answers with your partner.

Activity 5: Optional fun task

Now that you know so much about Easter, you could organize your own Easter party. Here are some ideas for things you could do. Visit www.ehow.com/list_6465113_fun-easter-games-kids-adults.html.

Have a lovely Easter, but don’t eat too much chocolate!

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