Easter is a time for family, fun and lots and lots of chocolate - even during lockdown. 

Here’s when the Easter bank holiday will fall in 2021 - and when we can expect schools to be off.

What date will Easter be in 2021?

In 2021, Easter will fall on Sunday, April 4, which is earlier than 2020, with Easter Sunday falling on April 12. 

Good Friday will fall on Friday, April 2, Good Monday will be Monday, April 5, and Ash Wednesday will take place on Wednesday, February 17.

Good Friday and Easter Monday are both bank holidays in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not in Scotland.

When will schools be off?

While official dates for all school closures in 2021 aren’t solidified yet, you can estimate when they’ll close based on previous years.

In Scotland, the schools should generally close between April 2 to 19, 2021 for the Easter holidays.

In Northern Ireland, schools will close from April 1 to 9, 2021.

In Wales, schools can be expected to close from Monday, March 29 until Friday, April 9, 2021.

In England, you can expect schools to close from April 1 to 16 April, 2021.

Why does the date change?

The date of Easter Sunday changes each year because, despite the fact that it is a Christian holiday, the date of Easter is actually determined by the Jewish calendar.

The Jewish calendar is based on lunar cycles, and a lunar year has about 354 days, unlike a solar year which has just over 365 days.

Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon, which is the full moon that occurs after the spring equinox.

The date of Easter can change because the Paschal full moon can fall on various days in different time zones. 

Because Easter falls on the Sunday after the March 21 spring equinox, it will always take place between March 22 and April 25.

What are some Easter traditions around the world?

Here in the UK, we celebrate Easter in a variety of ways - from Easter egg hunts to making hot cross buns - but across the world there are loads of different ways to celebrate Easter.

In Poland, they have an Easter tradition called Śmigus-dyngus, which is when boys try to drench one another with buckets of water on Easter Monday. This tradition originated from the baptism of the Polish Prince, Mieszko, on Easter Monday in 966 AD.

In Norway, Easter is a popular time for Norwegians to read crime novels that publishers actually come out with special “Easter Thrillers” known as Paaskekrimmen.

In Finland, children dress up like witches and go begging for chocolate eggs in the streets, carrying bunches of willow twigs that have been decorated with features.

In some parts of Western Finland, Easter Sunday is also celebrated with bonfires.

In Huax, France, they celebrate with a giant omelet which gets served up in the town’s main square.

The omelette uses more than 4,500 eggs and feeds up to 1,000 people.