Traditions are such an important part of celebrations. We like the feeling of anticipation – knowing what we are waiting for and looking forward to. The birthday cake – with “Happy Birthday” sung by our friends and candles to blow out with a wish. The Christmas tree – every family has it’s own traditions as to when and how it is put up and decorated, but to every family it is THEIR tradition that feels right.

And so it is with Easter. The traditions that tell us that Easter is coming – pancake day, the ritual of lent are all a part of knowing that Easter is on it’s way.

Then Easter itself arrives and, in our house, there are three important traditions regarding the celebration.

First is hot cross buns. I am a huge fan of the warm winter spices so, for me, hot cross buns are a huge treat. I usually try not to make them until Good Friday. I make the dough on Thursday, and let it rise overnight ready to cook for breakfast on Good Friday morning. The cooking buns fill the house with the most wonderul aroma – with a smell like that wafting around the kitchen, it just HAS to be a celebration.

Second is the Easter tree. We bring in a twiggy branch, and from it hang decorated eggs. We started this tradition when the apprentice was big enough to wave a paintbrush at an egg, and have continued it ever since. We now have a collection of eggs (including those very early attempts) that are placed on the tree each year, and each year we make some more to add to the collection. The biggest problem with these is that they are very prone to breakages in storage – last year two years worth got broken, so we have some catching up to do this year.

And last, but by no means least, is the making of the chocolate eggs. The Easter bunny visits, and brings “normal” chocolate eggs. Sometimes he will bring a number of small kinder eggs or creme eggs and have a treasure hunt for them. Other times he brings one or maybe two larger eggs and just hides them somewhere. But……over the Easter break – usually on the Saturday – the apprentice and I make chocolate eggs for each other and for Grandma. There is something extra special about these homemade chocolate offerings – and we usually put a personal spin on them. Last year we broke up Smarties and added them to the melted chocolate before putting the mix in the egg mould – they were very good. This year? Well, I haven’t decided yet, but I am pretty sure the apprentice has some thoughts on the subject.

What are your Easter traditions? Do you have a ritual that you go through every year? How do you make Easter that bit extra special?