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فصل 11

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER ELEVEN

Easter

Easter is a very important Christian festivity. People celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his death.

Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon in March. This is between 22 March and 25 April.

The origin of the English word Easter is uncertain. It probably comes from the pagan goddess of spring, Eostre. The pagans celebrated the arrival of spring with special festivals.

The Christian Easter slowly replaced the pagan festivals, but some symbols of the spring festivals remained, such as flowers, eggs, rabbits and bunnies. The tradition of the Easter basket is ancient. The pagans offered their eggs in grass baskets to the goddess Eostre.

In Britain and in the United States it is usual to send Easter cards to friends and relatives. For most Christian families Easter morning begins with a church service. Some Easter services begin very early in the morning. Others take place out of doors in a garden or park.

Easter is a time for Christians to be happy and there is special music in the churches. It is possible to hear George Frederick Handel’s ‘Messiah’ during some Easter services.

To celebrate Easter and the arrival of spring almost everyone wears something new: a new dress, a new suit, new shoes.

Before Easter Day American and British children paint Easter eggs with bright colours and designs. Coloured eggs were exchanged at ancient spring festivals. The egg is an ancient symbol of life and fertility. The decoration of Easter eggs began in England during the Middle Ages. Members of noble families gave one another gold-covered eggs as Easter presents!

On Easter Day in the United States there is the traditional Easter egg hunt in every city and town. Parents tell their children that the Easter bunny hid many eggs in the park. The children must find the hidden eggs. Eggs are hidden in the grass, in a shrub or under a tree. When the children find the eggs they put them in colourful Easter baskets. The child with the biggest number of eggs is the winner.

The tradition of the Easter bunny and the basket of eggs was introduced by German immigrants long ago.

On Easter Monday children roll their eggs down a hill. Egg rolling is an ancient Easter tradition. The first egg that reaches the bottom of the hill without breaking is the winner. A famous egg-rolling contest takes place outside the White House in Washington DC on Easter Monday. The President of the United States invites children to roll eggs on the lawn of the White House.

At Easter time there are chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies and sugar eggs in all sweet shops. Some eggs are personalized with a name on them.

Hot Cross Buns are a special Easter food.

They are small sweet cakes with a cross on top. This cross represents Christ’s death on the cross. The buns are usually eaten in Britain on Good Friday.

In many American cities and towns there is an Easter Bonnet Parade. Girls and women with funny and bizarre Easter bonnets march in the parade. Most women make their own bonnets. There is a prize for the most original. The most famous Easter Bonnet Parade is in New York City, on Fifth Avenue. Thousands of people participate!

In 1933 the great American composer Irving Berlin wrote a song about the Easter Bonnet Parade. Here is a verse:

‘In your Easter bonnet

With all the frills upon it

You’ll be the grandest lady

In the Easter parade.’

Families usually spend Easter Day together. The traditional Easter meal consists of roast lamb, peas, new potatoes and eggs in many forms.

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