An Anglo-Saxon tradition that we’ve taken on since the first year we moved to London has been egg hunting. All over London you will find real Easter Egg Hunts organized, so if you are visiting during the Easter holidays you cannot miss it. Last year we went to the Egg Hunt organized at the Chelsea Physic Garden, a wonderful botanical garden in the heart of Chelsea.
What are the origins of the Easter egg hunt?
The roots of the Easter egg hunt can be traced back to the pagan Saxon tradition of northern Europe. The term “Easter” in English originates from the pagan goddess Eostre, who represented spring, fertility, and rebirth. Depicted as a hare or with a hare’s head, the goddess is the inspiration behind the Easter Bunny tradition. Huge bonfires were lit in her honor, and a popular belief held that on Easter day, she would make three leaps and dance harmoniously with her court around the sun.
This ancient superstition still holds sway in some areas, with farmers and shepherds in places like Castleton, Derbyshire, climbing a hill on Easter Sunday to watch the sun rise. Legend has it that on Easter Saturday, the Easter Bunny brings children baskets filled with colored eggs, candies, and games. Children would then hunt for these treasures on Easter morning, with only well-behaved kids finding them.
The Victorian era saw the commercialization of the Easter egg hunt, thanks to Cadbury, a Birmingham-based chocolate company. After Easter Sunday religious services, children dressed up as rabbits or Humpty Dumpty would spend time in parks and gardens, searching for hidden eggs.
Family egg hunt
Here in England the egg hunt on Easter Sunday is a must. Hunting can be done safely in a garden or outdoors, for those who have the possibility, but it can also be done at home.
It’s a beautiful tradition, which I recommend adopting, it’s basically a different and fun way to experience Easter in the family with the little ones.
How to organize the egg hunt
Age of participants: any age
Number of players: unlimited
Where to play: Indoors or outdoors
What you need: small chocolate eggs and a basket for each participant.
Hide the eggs in the garden or in the house trying to find different hiding places (more or less difficult to find) depending on the age of the children.
If there are many children, you can organize a team game, assigning a color to each team and telling them how many eggs they will have to find.
If the children are old enough (last year of kindergarten / school age) prepare riddles that the children will have to solve to get to the eggs and find the next hiding place. The riddles will have different difficulties depending on the age of the children.
If you haven’t been able to find small chocolate eggs, or you only have the big one at home, you can create fake paper eggs to hide, and which must be collected in the baskets. Once all the eggs have been collected, the children will be rewarded with the large chocolate egg.
If you don’t have baskets, here are some cute bunnies to print on paper. The composed bunny becomes a basket and can be used for hunting!
All eggs must be collected in the basket and delivered at the end of the game. The team that collects the eggs in the shortest amount of time wins.
Have fun with the prizes for the winners. To the others, as a consolation, the possibility of eating the eggs found.
You might be interested in Easter in he UK: traditions you might not know
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