Easter eggs are a popular sign of the holiday among its religious and secular observers alike.
As with many other Christian dates, the celebration of Easter extends beyond the church. Since its origins, it has been a time of celebration and feasting and many Traditional Easter games and customs developed, such as Egg rolling, Egg tapping, Pace egging and Egg decorating. Today Easter is commercially important, seeing wide sales of greeting cards and confectionery such as chocolate Easter eggs, marshmallow bunnies, Peeps, and jelly beans. Even many non-Christians celebrate these aspects of the holiday while eschewing the religious aspects.
Throughout North America, the British Isles, New Zealand and Australia the Easter holiday has been partially secularized, so that some families participate only in the attendant revelry, central to which is (traditionally) decorating Easter eggs on Saturday evening and hunting for them Sunday morning, by which time they have been mysteriously hidden all over the house and garden. Chocolate eggs have largely supplanted decorated eggs in New Zealand and Australia.
Colored Easter eggs in the United States.
In North America, Australia and New Zealand, parents often tell their children that eggs and other treats have been delivered and hidden by the Easter Bunny in an Easter basket which children find waiting for them when they wake up. Many families in America will attend Sunday Mass or services in the morning and then participate in a feast or party in the afternoon; the food cooked for the feast and the customs practiced at the feast may be influenced by Jewish cuisine and the Jewish holiday of Passover.
A Bermuda kite.
In the UK children still decorate eggs, but most British people simply exchange chocolate eggs on the Sunday. Chocolate Easter Bunnies can be found in shops. Many families have a traditional Sunday roast, particularly roast lamb, and some eat Easter foods such as Simnel cake, a fruit cake with eleven marzipan balls representing the eleven faithful apostles. Hot cross buns, spiced buns with a cross on top, are traditionally associated with Good Friday, but today are often eaten well before and after. In Scotland, the north of England, and Northern Ireland, the traditions of rolling decorated eggs down steep hills and pace egging are still adhered to.
In Louisiana, USA, egg tapping is known as egg knocking. Marksville, Louisiana claims to host the oldest egg-knocking competition in the US, dating back to the 1950s. Competitors pair up on the steps of the courthouse on Easter Sunday and knock the tips of two eggs together. If the shell of your egg cracks you have to forfeit it, a process that continues until just one egg remains.
In the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda, the most notable feature of the Easter celebration is the flying of kites to symbolize Christ's ascent. Traditional Bermuda kites are constructed by Bermudians of all ages as Easter approaches, and are normally only flown at Easter. In addition to hot cross buns and Easter eggs, fish cakes are traditionally eaten in Bermuda at this time.
The Netherlands, Belgium and France
Church bells are silent as a sign of mourning for one or more days before Easter in The Netherlands, Belgium and France. This has led to an Easter tradition that says the bells fly out of their steeples to go to Rome (explaining their silence), and return on Easter morning bringing both colored eggs and hollow chocolate candy shaped like eggs or rabbits.
In both The Netherlands and Flemish-speaking Belgium many of the North American tradition exist alongside the Easter Bell story. The bells ("de Paasklokken") leave for Rome on Holy Saturday, called "Stille Zaterdag" (literally "Silent Saturday") in Dutch.
In French-speaking Belgium and France the same story of Easter Bells (« les cloches de Pвques ») bringing eggs from Rome is told, but church bells are silent beginning Maundy Thursday, the first day of the Paschal Triduum.