1) The tradition of the Easter bunny and bringing coloured eggs for children to find on Easter morning began in what country? Germany
2) In some European countries, it is traditional to have huge bonfires burning for the Easter vigil (the night before Easter). What do they burn in these bonfires? Effigies of Judas Iscariot
3) Eggs of a certain colour were given to children on Easter because it was believed that they would protect them from bad luck and poor health throughout the following year. What colour were those eggs? Red – these were believed to symbolize the spilled blood of Jesus Christ
4) In the Middle Ages, it was believed that certain household chores should never be done on Good Friday or they would bring bad luck. What were those chores? It was believed that clothes washed on Good Friday would never come clean or that the clothes would end up stained with blood or that you could even, by washing the clothes, be “washing away” a family member (causing their death). This was because of a legend that Christ cursed the washing of clothes on Good Friday after being slapped in the face with a wet garment on the way to His crucifixion. It was also believed that no work should be done with nails or iron tools or trees (children were not to climb trees on that day either) and that any crops planted on Good Friday would fail.
5) Where did the name Easter come from? It was named after the pagan goddess Eostre, the goddess of fertility and new life.
6) The fourth Sunday of Lent in England is Mothering Sunday – the UK equivalent of Mother’s Day. In the Middle Ages, servants were given that day off to go home and visit their mothers. Traditionally, they would bring a certain food along as a gift to their mothers. What food was it? Simnel cake. “I’ll to thee a Simnell bring, ‘Gainst thou go’st a mothering, So that, when she blesseth thee, Half that blessing thou’lt give to me.” Robert Herrick 1648 A Simnel cake is a fruit cake with a layer of marzipan over top of it and decorated with 11 balls of marzipan to represent the 12 apostles (less Judas). The cake was not eaten on Mothering Sunday but saved for Easter instead. Recipe for Simnel cake
7) Breads and buns baked on Good Friday were believed to never go mouldy and felt to have healing properties. They would be kept and tiny slivers would be shaved off of them and fed to those who were ill to cure them. They were also kept because it was believed that they could offer protection in 3 other ways as well. What were those three ways? It was believed that these breads and buns could ward off fires, keep rats out of the grains, and protect sailors and ships from shipwreck.
8) At Maundy Thursday church services in some countries, priests perform certain tasks in remembrance of what Jesus did at the Last Supper. What are these tasks? Wash the feet of some in attendance and bless the bread and wine.
9) How many days are there in Lent? This can actually be a tricky question. Most people will say 40 because they know that it is supposed to reflect the 40 years of the Israelites going through the desert, 40 days and 40 nights during which Jesus went into the desert to pray, the 40 days from His resurrection to His ascension into heaven and the 40 hours He lay in the tomb before His resurrection. Technically they are right – there are only 40 days of Lent. But if you consult a calendar and count the number of days beginning with Ash Wednesday and going to Easter, you will see that this number is actually 46 and this confuses some people. The reason for this is that Sundays don’t count – they are not actually considered part of Lent as each Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection; in essence, a “little Easter”. In fact, if you give something up for Lent, you can still have it on Sundays!
10) According to statistics, what part of a chocolate bunny do most people bite off first? 76% bite off the ears first, 5% bite off the feet first, and 4% bite off the tail first.
11) What did the first Easter basket look like? A bird’s nest
12) What are the earliest and latest possible dates for Easter? Easter always falls between March 22nd and April 25th.
13) According to the Guinness Book of World Records, how big was the largest Easter egg made to date? It was just over 25 feet long and weighed 8968 pounds. The egg was made of chocolate and marshmallow and supported by an internal steel frame.
14) How long does it take to make one Peep? Back in the mid 1900s, it took 27 hours to make a Peep. Today it takes 6 minutes.
15) For which holiday is more candy sold – Halloween or Easter? Easter
16) What is "Pysanka"? The act of painting eggs.
17) For how many pieces of silver did Judas betray Christ? 30
18) Which American President started the tradition of the White House egg rolling celebration? President Hayes
19) How many Faberge eggs were made? 57
20) What is the significance of the Easter lily? According to legend, where the blood of Jesus hit the ground, lilies bloomed. In addition, the bulb is said to symbolize Jesus’ tomb, the white colour symbolizes His purity, and the bell shape represents Gabriel’s trumpet which calls for new life.
Bonus question: What kind of wood was Jesus’ cross made of? This is somewhat of a trick question as there isn’t any definitive evidence on exactly what type of wood it was. According to legend, it was made of dogwood but dogwood would not have been strong or large enough to support His weight. Others claim that it was an olive tree. Olive trees were typically used for crucifixes and some of the fragments that have been said to be from His cross are made from olive wood. Cedar trees were plentiful in the area and they grew to be very large and very strong so they are also a possibility. Finally, when some of the fragments said to be from His cross were analyzed, some bits of pine tree were found in them as well. Given that this happened over 2000 years ago, we may never know for sure what type of wood was used.