Easter is finally here, which means we can kick back and relax for a couple of days and bask in the British sunshine.
But if being outside isn’t your thing, there is plenty on the box to keep you company throughout the weekend from Marvel premieres to the epic that is Game of Thrones.
Easter, also called Pascha (Greek, Latin) or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.
Most Christians refer to the week before Easter as “Holy Week”, which contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. In Western Christianity, Eastertide, or the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the 50th day, Pentecost Sunday. In Eastern Christianity, the season of Pascha begins on Pascha and ends with the coming of the 40th day, the Feast of the Ascension.
Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts which do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars which follow only the cycle of the sun; rather, its date is offset from the date of Passover and is therefore calculated based on a lunisolar calendar similar to the Hebrew calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established two rules, independence of the Jewish calendar and worldwide uniformity, which were the only rules for Easter explicitly laid down by the council. No details for the computation were specified; these were worked out in practice, a process that took centuries and generated a number of controversies. It has come to be the first Sunday after the ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or soonest after 21 March, but calculations vary.
Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In most European languages the feast is called by the words for passover in those languages; and in the older English versions of the Bible the term Easter was the term used to translate passover. Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church, and decorating Easter eggs (symbols of the empty tomb). The Easter lily, a symbol of the resurrection, traditionally decorates the chancel area of churches on this day and for the rest of Eastertide. Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades. There are also various traditional Easter foods that vary regionally.
Easter weekend 2019 TV guide: What to watch on Good Friday and over the bank holiday
The workweek and weekend are the complementary parts of the week devoted to labor and rest, respectively. The legal working week (British English), or workweek (American English), is the part of the seven-day week devoted to labor. In most of the world, the workweek is from Monday to Friday and the weekend is Saturday and Sunday, but other divisions exist: for example, many countries observing a Sunday to Thursday or even Monday to Thursday working week. A weekday or workday is any day of the working week. Other institutions often follow this pattern, such as places of education. Sometimes the term “weekend” is expanded to include the time after work hours on the last workday of the week; e.g. Friday evening is often referred to as the start of the weekend. The weekend has had varying definitions, such as commencing after 5pm on Friday evening and lasting until Sunday 12pm.
In some Christian traditions, Sunday is the “day of rest and worship”. The Jewish Shabbat or Biblical Sabbath lasts from sunset on Friday to the fall of full darkness on Saturday; as a result, the weekend in Israel is observed on Friday–Saturday. Some Muslim-majority countries have historically instituted a Thursday–Friday weekend. Today, many of these countries have shifted from Thursday–Friday to Friday–Saturday, or mostly to Saturday–Sunday.
Historically, the Christian Sabbath was just one day each week, but the preceding day (the Jewish Sabbath) came to be taken as a holiday as well in the twentieth century. This shift has been accompanied by a reduction in the total number of hours worked per week, following changes in employer expectations. The present-day concept of the “weekend” first arose in the industrial north of Britain in the early part of the nineteenth century. The Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America Union was the first to successfully demand a five-day work week in 1929.
Some countries have adopted a one-day weekend, i.e. either Sunday only (in seven countries), Friday only (in Djibouti, Iran, Palestine and Somalia), or Saturday only (in Nepal). However, most countries have adopted a two-day weekend, whose days differ according to religious tradition, i.e. either Friday and Saturday, or Saturday and Sunday, or Friday and Sunday (in Brunei Darussalam), with the previous evening post-work often considered part of the weekend. Proposals continue to be put forward to reduce the number of days or hours worked per week, on the basis of predicted social and economic benefits.
So here are our top picks for what to watch….
The Parent Trap – Channel 4, 11.45am
Easter weekend 2019 TV guide: What to watch on Good Friday and over the bank holiday
Lindsay Lohan plays both parts in the hit film, which also stars the late Natasha Richardson. After meeting at summer camp, Hallie and Annie concoct a perfect plan to get to know their other parent in this iconic film full of mischief.
Doctor Strange – ITV, 8.30pm
ITV stray into Marvel superhero territory with the Benedict Cumberbatch-led film about a neurosurgeon who loses his hands in an accident and ends up in the middle of an inter-dimensional battle between good and bad.
As he goes on this new journey, he discovers magic powers and the ability to tap into alternate dimensions. But his quest leads him to become embroiled with sorcerer Kaecilius and the mystical Ancient One text, which takes him on a completely different journey.
British Made with John Prescott – Channel 5, 8pm
The Deputy Prime Minister is off on a three-hour long tour of some of Britain’s factories, starting with Lea Perrins vinegary in Worcester.
During his tour, he also visits the Soreen Malt Loaf factory and gets to create his own bread just the way he likes it.
The Graham Norton Show – BBC One, 10.30pm
Graham Norton shows off yet another star-studded sofa with The Hustle’s Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway popping by for a chat about teaming up for their latest comedy while Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, talks about venturing into animation voiceover with Playmobil: The Movie.
Killing Eve’s deadly assassin Jodie Comer, who plays Villanelle, also spills all on the second series – which we can’t see for at least a couple months – and there is a performance from Mabel.
Saturday 20 April
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – 2.30pm, Channel 5
A great one for Easter, given the promise of chocolate eggs! The 1971 version, starring Gene Wilder, provides the Saturday afternoon entertainment as you jump into a world of Pure Imagination during your long weekend break.
Britain’s Got Talent – 8pm, ITV
The auditions continue as Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly entertain crowds across the country in the hope of finding the next big thing to play this year’s Royal Variety Show.
A range of acts – from singers to dance troupes to magicians – will be up in front of Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams to give it their all and avoid the red buzzers.
The Jonathan Ross Show – 9.20pm, ITV
The host gets acquainted with 24 star Keifer Sutherland, model Winnie Harlow and Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis during his self-titled chat show.
Olly Murs is also on hand to provide the musical entertainment.
Marley Me – 4.50pm, Channel 4
The heartwarming tale of a gorgeous, but naughty, dog who finds a home with a young couple, played by Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, in Florida. The film – based on a book of the same name – follows the boisterous canine as he settles into his family. One of most tearjerking film endings ever seen, and we won’t hear otherwise.
The Family Chase – 6.05pm, ITV
The popular quiz show changes format for a special episode as a family of four take on one of the biggest brains in the country to try win the cash they accumulate.
Bradley Walsh will be alongside them to provide humour to proceedings.
Line Of Duty – 9pm, BBC One
We’re over the halfway point in Jed Mercurio’s drama now, with everybody desperate to know just who H is. Is Hastings dodgy? How far will John Corbett go? Is the gig nearly up for the OCG? We just don’t know.
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Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins for Stand Up to Cancer – 9pm, Channel 4
Ant Middleton continues to put a bunch of famous faces – including Jeff Brazier and Camilla Thurlow – through their paces all in the name of charity. This week, the recruits pair up and work as teams with the final assignment forcing them to trust each other with their lives as they go free-falling.
Travel Man: 48 Hours in Porto – Channel 4, 8.30pm
Richard Ayoade explores Portugal in a brief city break with fellow comedian Nish Kumar. The pair sample the local delicacies before roaming the streets of Porto, trying out everything from 5D cinema to artisanal soap.
Game Of Thrones – Sky Atlantic, 2am and 9pm
The second episode of the final season is a must-watch for your Easter Monday viewing, with more people able to catch the 2am showing (in line with the US broadcast) because they won’t have to get up for work.