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special feature


“OUR WAY” by Raelene Tan EASTER It’s springtime in Britain, indicating that Easter is here! The Easter season begins with Lent, on Wednesday, 10 February this year, to Easter Sunday, 27 March, and continues to Pentecost Sunday, 15 May, making it the most important festival in the Christian calendar.Significant dates are Ash Wednesday (first day of Lent); the fourth Sunday, Mothering Sunday, when children traditionally give mothers gifts of simnel-cake; Palm Sunday one week before Easter Sunday, symbolising Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem; and Maundy Thursday commemorating the Last Supper the day before Good Friday, which commemorates Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, before His resurrection on Easter Sunday. White Easter lilies, greenery and candles are customary decorations. Much-enjoyed pancake-races on Lent eve are traditionally English, dating back to 1445. Competitors run through village streets, tossing pancakes three times in their pans, as a fun-filled way to use up eggs and dairy products, customarily not eaten during Lent. On Good Friday, fish and aromatic hot-cross-buns are generally eaten. Easter Sunday, eggs, lamb and chicken are consumed, representing new life. Popular chocolate eggs and rabbits symbolise new life and fertility, respectively. Egg-decorating and games featuring eggs are time-honoured customs, such as Easter-egg hunts and egg-rolling races. Milliners prepare bonnets for the much-loved Easter Parade, immortalised in Irving Berlin’s song of the same name, held on Easter Sunday at Rotten Row, Hyde Park in London, with new outfits worn to celebrate new life. Chocolate Easter-eggs make nice gifts on Easter Sunday. “Happy Easter”. Photographs: Courtesy of Royal Plaza on Scotts

SINGAPORE’S Hilltop Retreat

March 2016