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Easter Monday

Easter Monday is observed as a public holiday in many countries and is part of the Easter period. It is a Christian observance and is the day after Easter Sunday.

Easter Monday

A basket of Easter eggs.

©iStockphoto.com/Shannon Long

What do people do?

Many Christians around the world celebrate Easter Monday as a day of rest, particularly in countries where the day is a public holiday. It is a day for many to enjoy the time outdoors in countries such as Australia and Canada.  Easter parades occur in some parts of the world on Easter Monday. It is known as Dyngus, or Splash Monday, among many Polish communities where children often play water games.

The United States has its own tradition, known as the Egg Roll, which occurs at the White House. This tradition can be traced as far back as 1878, although it was not always held at the White House grounds in the earlier years. It receives media attention each year. Easter egg races are held in other parts of the world, including Germany.

Public life

Easter Monday is a holiday in many countries worldwide such as (but not exclusive to):

Many government offices, businesses and educational institutions are closed on Easter Monday in countries where it is a public holiday. Those wishing to travel via public transport may wish to check with the relevant public transit authorities on schedules and timetables.

Background

Easter Monday was formerly regarded as unlucky and was therefore known as Black Monday (White Monday in Greece). Many sources attribute this expression to great losses of life during military expeditions but Monday itself was generally considered unlucky. It meant returning to school after the Easter break for many school children and was also known as Bloody Monday.

In medieval England women were allowed to haul out of bed any man they found there. Even Kings Edward I and Edward II went through this tradition. It was traditional for men to lift women three times by the arms and legs in northern England, where women would return the act on the following day. Easter Monday was known as the Day of the Easter Egg Bundle or the Day of Feasts in Ireland.

The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox.

Symbols

For people with strong Christian beliefs, the cross that Jesus was crucified on and his resurrection are important symbols of the period around Easter. Other symbols of Easter include real eggs or eggs manufactured from a range of materials, nests, lambs and rabbits or hares. Sometimes these symbols are combined, for example, in candy models of rabbits with nests full of eggs. Eggs, rabbits, hares and young animals are thought to represent the re-birth and return to fertility of nature in the spring.

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