Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter in London

Happy Easter! I know that I'm a day late, but I took the weekend off, well and truly (part of that being forced by a spot of food poisoning, unfortunately).

The Brits do Easter way better than the Americans for one simple reason that clinches the win in any such debate - Good Friday and Easter Monday are bank holidays, which means that, unless you work in retail or the service industry, pretty much everyone has a four-day weekend for Easter.  Most people take advantage of this gift and go away.  Last year was my first non-student Easter weekend, and K and I went to Croatia for the weekend.  With four days off, this is an ideal weekend to go to Europe and still feel like you've gotten in a pretty decent holiday.

I'm off on a very big vacation next weekend, so I stayed in London this year.  I must say, a four-day weekend is ideal. I'm thinking of advocating for a four days on/four days off kind of schedule. London also offers tons of things to do for Easter for both families and adults.

Given that Easter is a distinctly Christian holiday, one would expect that Easter traditions would be largely similar Western Christian countries, but there are slight differences that stick out for me.  In the UK, children (and generally adults) receive a big chocolate Easter egg and some ancillary chocolates instead of a big Easter basket, as they do in America, although these are still brought by the Easter bunny. These are normally filled with smaller chocolates.

Perhaps my favourite of the English Easter traditions (apart from Pancake Day on Shrove Tuesday) is hot cross buns. These delightful little fruited and spiced buns are best cut in half, toasted and served with lemon curd. They are traditionally eaten between lent and Good Friday.

(Photograph by Kara Rosenlund)

I miss my family terribly on holidays like these, but I am very grateful for Skype and for my London family of friends. I hope that your Easter was great, and here's to another four-day work week!

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