You don't need meat and dairy to indulge in food and fun
With the pandemic still a presence in our lives, it looks likely that Easter celebrations will have to remain, once again, at home. But, that doesn't mean the Easter bunny won't come! There is still lots of excitement to be had.
Whether you participate in the religious side of Easter, simply enjoy the paganistic or non-religious aspects of it, or you have children who adore the Easter bunny, there are so many ways to make the most of the holiday.
And this also doesn't have to change because we are vegan - so if you're a newbie, do not fret, because we can still experience the best of Easter treats.
Whilst traditions oft en revolve around meat and dairy, we know better - that the best way to celebrate the holiday of life and rebirth are with cruelty-free and vegan goodies that honour life and do not harm it.
Life has been difficult this last year, and whilst parents and health advisers might not usually be keen to promote gorging on chocolate, we think that everyone deserves to let their hair down right now.
Whether you're looking to celebrate Easter with your children, housemates, family and friends via Zoom, or with yourself, we've got you covered with our exciting Easter ideas that are a little bit different from the norm.
Host an Easter tea party or afternoon tea
Traditionally at Easter, families come together to enjoy a roast lunch or dinner. Since most of us are unlikely to be able to share an Easter meal with our extended families this year, why not enjoy an afternoon together on Skype or Zoom?
An afternoon tea party is much easier to do than a Zoom-led full-blown vegan roast dinner - although there's nothing stopping you from doing that either! Give everyone a list of things they need to bake or buy (head to our recipes on page 73 for inspiration) and feast together on vegan simnel cake and hot crossed buns via the magic of a video call.
Have an Easter egg ʻsmash' race
This game is great for adults and children who need to let off some steam - and is a wonderful switch up for non-vegan egg and spoon races. Get yourself some really tasty vegan Easter eggs (with extra thick chocolate shells) - put them in the fridge for a few hours so that they harden, and then get your household together to sit a metre or two from a wall. Each person takes an egg, and altogether at the same time, your gang must roll it towards the wall in front of where they are sitting - the first person to completely smash their egg against the wall wins!
It might seem like an easy challenge, but it takes longer than you think. For the extreme version: pop your eggs in the freezer beforehand. It is a fantastically funny game to play over and over again over the Easter weekend. And what should the winner get? Well, another dairy free chocolate egg, of course!
Craft like you've never crafted before
Since Easter is linked to creation, why not spend the weekend getting creative? If you're traditional, you might like to get stuck into more typical Easter crafts.
At this time of year people partake in making Easter bonnets and baskets, egg painting and dying, and crafting cards and wreaths. Luckily, there are tonnes of ways to make all these Easter craft s vegan and eco-friendly.
Instead of buying an Easter basket to fill with plant-based goodies, make your own or use a household item that you already have.
For example, you could crochet a basket, or collect long, sturdy twigs from your local area and weave one - this can also be done with card (there are lots of tutorials on the internet). Likewise, use an object that you already have and make an unconventional basket.
For instance, pop open an umbrella, turn it upside down, and fill it with shredded paper, spongey moss and vegan treats.Similarly, save a cardboard box and decorate it with eco-friendly paints or
leaves collected from outside.
For a vegan version of egg-painting, gather up some small to medium-sized round stones and paint these instead. This craft is especially great for young children who want to paint eggs but don't yet understand why we disagree with the practice.
It's equally lovely for adults to take part in - not only is stone painting therapeutic, but you can create some lovely ornaments for around the house.
Another delightful Easter craft is wreath-making - but instead of buying lots of plastic bits and pieces to make one, use only what you can forage or already have at home. Use a sturdy piece of willow (our preferred option) or a reusable metal ring for the base.
Then, weave around the ring things like moss, flowers (dry them if you want them to last longer), sticks and foliage from your garden or local hedgerows. You can attach your decorations using biodegradable twine.
Host a treasure hunt
Both children and adults can enjoy a fun-fuelled treasure or scavenger hunt. Adults: gather your family or friends together on Zoom, dress up as Easter-based characters (just for extra entertainment!), and partake in a fabulously funny treasure hunt game.
Give your friends and family a clue from a pre-made list of scavenger hunt hints, and the first person to guess correctly and bring you back the item the clue describes, wins a point.
There are tonnes of treasure hunt resources for adults and children online, visit Pinterest (pinterest.co.uk) for inspiration. If most of your family or friends live with you, then this can also be done in 'real life' too, not just on video chat services.
Enjoy traditions from around the world
Globally, Easter is celebrated in very different, sometimes wacky, ways. So, if you're missing travelling abroad, take part in a tradition from elsewhere to make it feel like you're there for an Easter holiday. Try these different celebrations:
In Corfu, as church bells ring in the end of Easter Sunday mass, residents toss clay pots off their balconies - all in the name of celebrating (loudly!) that death has been beaten by the Resurrection.
Whilst we don't recommend you do exactly the same thing (think of the waste!), why not adopt an aspect of the celebration, and hurl vegan chocolate eggs (still inside their foil wrapping) from the top window of your house, or across the garden? Make sure to collect the egg after so that you can still enjoy eating the smashed pieces.
Sweden and some other Nordic countries, host Easter celebrations that are akin to Halloween. On Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter Sunday), Swedish children dress up as witches, grab broomsticks and go door to- door asking for sweets.
According to legend, witches visited the Brocken forest (Blåkulla in Swedish) before Easter, to party with the devil as he held his Earthly court (thelocal.se). So, why not do like the Swedes do, and dress up in witchy gear? Instead of chocolate eggs, indulge in some vegan sweets - visit The Conscious Candy Company for a wonderful selection of pick 'n' mix (consciouscandy.co.uk).
It's hard to stay dry in Poland during Easter celebrations. Wet Monday, locally known as 'Smigus Dyngus', takes place on Easter Monday. On the day, people try to drench each other with buckets of water, squirt guns or anything else they can use to carry water!
Back when the tradition began, it was usually Polish boys who did the soaking on unsuspecting girls, but now everyone gets involved, taking part in giant public water fights all over Poland.
Why not get into the spirit of Smigus Dyngus, yourself? Host a water fight with your household for a whacky new Easter tradition - just make sure that you don't soak people who don't want to join in!