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Why do we eat lamb at Easter?

Why do we eat lamb at Easter?
At Easter we eat roast lamb, according to tradition, but why? (Picture: Getty)

On Easter Sunday, tradition dictates that we all sit down together – be it with family or friends – and feast on lamb.

The rest of Easter is apparently about munching chocolate, and on the evening of Good Friday we are supposed to eat fish.

Fish and chocolate eggs dont gambol about in fields, making magical flowers blossom at their tread of their tiny hooves.

So why are baby sheep top of the menu? Is there a significance to the tradition of eating roast lamb on Easter Sunday? Lets have a look.

Why do we eat lamb at Easter?
Little baby lambs are served up on many a plate on Easter Sunday (Picture: Getty)

Roast lamb has been the traditional meal of Easter Sunday since before Christ was around, let alone crucified. Makes you feel old, doesnt it!

The roast lamb meal has its roots in early Passover observances before the birth of Christianity.

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When Egypt experienced terrible plagues and the deaths of firstborn sons, the Jews painted sacrificed lambs blood on their doors so that God would pass over their homes while punishing sinners. Hence, Passover.

Why do we eat lamb at Easter?
Lambs are one of the baby animals meant to symbolise the coming of spring (Picture: Getty)

Later, when certain Jews converted to Christianity, they carried over the tradition of eating lamb.

Christians also refer to Jesus as the Lamb of God (which a heavy metal band later used for their own name). Jesus was a sacrificial lamb, after all.

And seeing as Easter is all about letting Jesus die and eating of his body, which he literally told his disciples to do on Maundy Thursday, its no wonder lamb ends up on the table.

Why do we eat lamb at Easter?
This lamb from North Wales was very vocal when photographed (Picture: Getty)

Across history, lambs were also the most readily-available livestock after a long winter where a lot of animals were eaten.

Many of the lambs will have been orphaned by the roasts of winter.

If you dont eat meat, or just dont like the idea of eating lamb, alternatives for the Easter Sunday meal include filo pie, quiche, vegetable gratin, risotto and basically anything else besides.

MORE: Where are the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts and how to get involved?

MORE: When do you give Easter eggs and when should you eat hot cross buns?

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