Treasured Victorian Easter Traditions

To tell of Easter is to speak of hope.

As well it should be. For the holiday celebrates a promise of new life and the resurrection of one—that of Jesus Christ. His story unfolds from each pulpit on Easter Sunday, but also the days leading up.

The Thursday before hosts what’s known in England as the Royal Maundy. Each sovereign tailors the event in some way. During Queen Victoria’s reign, she determined the event be held at Westminster Abbey.  It is there that she addressed the congregation and upheld the tradition of distributing something much more precious than candy. . .

Maundy Coins

Minted for the celebration of the Royal Maundy, the legal tender was originally gifted with clothing and food. Since then, recipients of the Easter money treasure it rather than trade. Each set is valued at 10 pence and comprised of 1, 2, 3, and 4 pence.

Tradition dictates each pouch of maundy coins equal the reigning monarch’s age. Thereby, the chosen recipients receive several complete sets and partial sets depending on the year.



Again the King or Queen’s age is taken into account when selecting recipients and are no more or less than the number. With that taken into account, fewer than 120 people receive mintage on Easter Thursday.

It is most assuredly a priceless honor.

Easter Tree

German influence on the part of Price Albert introduced the Tannenbaum to Christmas time as well as the Easter tree to springtime. Painted eggs dangle from blossoming branches.

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Fabergé Egg

Alexander III wished to present his wife with an Easter egg she wouldn’t soon forget.

5519425731_979a44a872_bHe commissioned jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé, but did little to supervise the design aside from initial instruction. That left Fabergé to his own creative devises.

It needed to be resplendent. . . More than that though, it needed to be reminiscent, something to take the Tsarina’s mind off the many assassination attempts. His inspiration came from better days of her childhood in Denmark.

Ivory was chosen as the shell and made for a great reveal of a golden yolk on Easter morn. Maria Fedorovna treasured her gift. The Hen Egg (as it has come to be called) introduced a crowning tradition of the Romanovs.

For from 1885 to the fall of their reign in 1917, The House of Fabergé delivered an ornate Imperial Easter Egg. Design was left the the craftsmen with only one stipulation: each egg must contain a surprise.

Hot Cross Buns



The history of making hot cross buns on Good Friday has persisted throughout the centuries and was a favorite Eastertide tradition of the Victorians. Sharing of a hot cross bun was thought to solidify a friendship, hence the old rhyme: Half for you, and half for me, between us two good luck shall be.

Sugar Egg

Past the lace frosting, an opening on a sugar mold reveals a better world inside the sugar egg. Miniature flowers of icing, nests, and candy rabbits stage a perfect spring.

Speculated to be inspired by the Fabergé Imperial Eggs, no true history confirms its origins.

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What is an Easter tradition you cherish?

18 thoughts on “Treasured Victorian Easter Traditions

  1. I love this post!!! What a blessing to receive it today on the first day of spring! Blessings to you all, Denise Parker

    Sent from my iPhone

    1. Yes, I agree with Diane. What a nice feature that the folks at “Victorian Trading” did this. Easter Blessings and New Beginnings to all………Suzanne DeJordy from Amherst, NY

  2. Thank you for sharing the religious significance and traditions of this holiday. I learned something new.

  3. I truly enjoy Victorianatradingco. Specials! There are many fun facts ,symbols, and traditions! Thank you!!

  4. Victorian Trading Co., Thank You so much for sending me an email with this blog. Thank You so much for sharing what Easter is all about – Jesus our redeemer and all of the fun facts that make this Holiday so special. I came from a huge Catholic family (16 siblings). Easter was always one of my favorite days to celebrate. Us girls always got new pastel dresses and gloves to go with our new white shoes. I remember the Easter egg dying and decorating, and then we always went to another huge family’s home after Easter mass, and had an Easter egg hunt. One particular Easter egg hunt still stays in my mind today for some reason – the day seemed so magical. I loved our visits with relatives for Easter dinner (My Catholic nun great aunt Sr. Mary Dolorita, my other great aunts and my grandmother, the parish priest, a few close friends, etc. Easter was a time of good eating and new Spring flowers, people being kind to each other, and lots of laughter. I am now 62 years old and most of the people I spent Easter with have gone to be with our Lord. I am sad when I reflect back at those bygone days, but I do have I have found some amazing pictures and history of these relatives who are no longer with me, but most important I have the memories of my Easter dinners and other Holidays etched into my heart and mind forever. I am a grandmother to 5 beautiful children and two adult children. I do my best to create happy memories for them.

  5. My only daughter is 23 and married, but we still color eggs and have surprises from the Easter bunny. Hoping for grandkids soon so We can have an Easter egg hunt. It’s my favorite holiday and, yes, I love the secular traditions as well as the Christian ones. Springtime makes me Happy.

    1. What a wonderful tradition, Barbara! Easter is a joyous time to gather together. With a look about the cheery blooms and pastel dress, tis easy to see why it’s your favourite holiday.

  6. I love your blog… It always brings me happiness. I like the various facts you always incorporate for the various seasons, and I like the nice things people have to say; it reminds me that not everything is bad or sad in this time of constant destruction and people’s craving for instant gratification. I guess I get mine every time I get your catalog in the mail or an email from you in my in box! By the way, There is something in every season that I like. I’m blessed to have all of the seasons to watch. Thank you for your wonderful products, and your spectacular blog! Sincerely, Angela Stahlman

    1. How thoughtful! Angela, your sweet comment has made our hearts so glad. We think of you and the rest of our friends often as we prepare surprises and delights for the catalogue and blog.

      Thank you ever so much for sharing a moment with us.

  7. Just started reading your blog, although I’ve been a long time lover of your catalog and have found lovely gifts for friends and myself as well! NOW I FOIND YOUR WONDERFUL BLOG–so informative and lovely to read! I really love it and VTC as well! Thank you!!

    1. Friend, you are most welcome. We’re much endeared by your kind words and enjoyment. It truly is a pleasure to share in our finds – products and stories – with other old souls.

  8. I too, love this post.

    Having just found this blog, I am so happy to have done so.

    Everything about The Victorian Trading Co. is delightful.

    And now, I have your blog, to enjoy.

    Thank you!

    Luna Crone
    “Moon spinners” blog

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