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Easter weekend in London starts on Good Friday and continues through Easter Monday. It has something to offer to every type of traveller. If you're looking for more solemn celebrations, check out St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Trafalgar Square—during the Holy Week, it features live choral and orchestral music.
The Passion of Jesus in Trafalgar Square
On Good Friday, Trafalgar Square also hosts "The Passion of Jesus" performed by 78 actors, along with two horses and a donkey. This 90-minute open-air-play is attended by some 20,000 people annually. To ensure that nobody misses out on any detail, the play is also broadcasted on a big screen at the square. The play is free to attend, yet a realistic interpretation of the crucifixion requires parental guidance. It was first held in the square in 2010.
Widow's Bun Ceremony at the Widow's Son pub
Good Friday in London is also known for another tradition, quite extraordinary. It takes place in the Widow's Son pub in Bromley-by-Bow, East London. As legend has it, during the Napoleonic Wars, a widow lost her only son to the sea. Each year, the mother baked a fresh Hot Cross Bun in hope for her son's return. To honor the widow and her son, after whom the bar was named, a sailor adds a fresh bun to the collection of previous years' buns hanging from the ceiling—it's called the Widow's Bun Ceremony. The doors of the bar are open to the public during that day, but if you want to witness the tradition and to eat some fresh Hot Cross Buns, you're encouraged to book a table in advance.
Solemn Easter Services
On Easter Sunday, Westminster Abbey, Southwark Cathedral, or St. Paul's Cathedral offer solemn Easter Service. Regardless of the level of your religiousness, you'll surely be impressed by the magnificent architecture as well as the solemn grandeur of the mass.
Easter activities for children
Easter in London features a variety of activities for kids, ranging from Easter egg hunts to some workshops in egg or basket decorations and other hands-on activities. The locations of egg hunts may differ from year to year. Many family events are free, but preliminary reservations are recommended.
Traditional Easter sweets
For many, Easter is also associated with chocolate indulgence. This is also true about London. During the Easter season, the windows of chocolate shops are overloaded with locally-made chocolate Easter eggs, bunnies, and other sweets.
London Harness Horse Parade
At last, for Easter Monday, we recommend taking a short train ride to attend the London Harness Horse Parade. This is an annual tradition taking place at the South of England Showground in West Sussex and dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. The parade showcases working Friesian horses from Harrods and demonstrates the progress of the transportation industry the Brits have made throughout history.