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5-star fests of Easter bunnies and brunch
By Ruby Gao

THE upcoming holiday of Easter on March 31, celebrating what Christians believe to be the resurrection of Jesus Christ, has roots deep in many pagan celebrations of spring, fertility rebirth and resurrection.

From Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean, to Egypt and North European countries, ancient people worshipped goddesses of love and fertility with names like Istar, Ishtar, Astharoshis, Astarte and Eostre. And gods have been resurrected, as well.

Eggs symbolizing life and rebirth, and rabbits symbolizing fertility were incorporated into spring rites in many religions.

Today, apart from religious observances, Easter is an occasion for food, chocolate figures, Easter egg hunts, children's carnivals and visits by the Bunny Rabbit and other animals.

In the common Christian observances, Easter is celebrated on the third day after Jesus' crucifixion when he is said to have risen from the dead.

On that day, believers take part in many outdoor services, holding hands and encircling a church, greeting each other with the words "Christ is Risen!" and the response "He is Risen Indeed." The statues in churches that had been shrouded during Lent, are uncovered for Easter.

Children often dye hard-boiled Easter eggs and decorate them.

It's a day of chocolate rabbits and spun sugar eggs with little scenes inside.

New York City is famous for its Easter Parade. Once Easter parades were famous as occasions for women to wear their best spring clothes and most elaborate Easter hats.

Easter foods

Eggs are common for breakfast and people often play egg-cracking games, to see who can crack whose egg, and win it.

Jesus was known as the "lamb of god," so roast lamb is very popular. Lamb was said to have been eaten at the Last Supper.

Easter ham is another tradition because the pig was considered a symbol of luck in pre-Christian Europe.

Easter breads

Holiday breads are baked in different shapes. Hot cross buns with a cross pattern on top, are often served hot on East day in European countries. Easter breads often include eggs, which had been prohibited during Lent. Italian Colomba and Russian Kulich are prime examples of Easter breads.

The Easter Sunday brunch in Shanghai's five-star hotels present many typical Easter foods and create a child-friendly ambience.

Both egg painting and hunting are popular. Chocolates are made into rabbit shapes. Some hotels offer a children's buffet on Easter Sunday, exclusively. Most hotel restaurants offer small Easter gifts, such as colored eggs, chocolate rabbits, colorful balloons and Easter toys.

Here are some Easter brunch recommendations.

Kerry Hotel Pudong, Shanghai

March 30-31 - Mad Hatter's Tea Party

11am-12pm, 2-3pm, Kerry Parkside courtyard

Price: 168 yuan net per child (12 years and below), advanced purchase of ticket is required.

March 31 - A morning with buckets of fun

8am onward, Kerry Parkside courtyard

Featuring a 4K fun run with your bunny costume, followed by egg hunting at Adventure Zone.

Price: 50 yuan net per participant for Kerry Sports members and their children), 75 yuan net per participant for non-members and their children

11:30am-3pm, Easter brunch, The COOK

Price: 438*/538* yuan per person; 168* yuan per child (12 years and below)

* Prices are subject to 15% service charge

Address: 1388 Huamu Rd, Pudong

Tel: 6169-8800

The Peninsula Shanghai

March 31, 11:30am-2:30pm, Sir Elly's

The four-course Sunday Brunch menu will feature hot and cold appetizers, a choice of modern-European inspired main courses, delicious desserts to share and optional free flow of Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne, wine and beer. A dedicated children's buffet, supervised kids' activities and an outdoor Easter egg hunt in the Waitan Yuan gardens will thrill family guests.

Price: 390 yuan+15% per adult; 580 yuan+15% per adult (including unlimited Veuve Clicquot Champagne and soft drinks); 180 yuan+15% per child (including Easter egg hunt)

Address: 32 Zhongshan Rd E1

Tel: 2327-2888

Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai

March 31, 12-3pm, Yi Cafe

Chefs will prepare a feast of Easter favorites. The little ones will be kept entertained with fun activities, including egg painting. For the whole March, guests entering Gourmet can expect a room full of colorful Easter eggs and related chocolate goodies in all shapes and sizes.

Price: 428 yuan+15% for adults, 214 yuan+15% for children from 6 to 12 years old

Address: 2/F, Tower 2, 33 Fucheng Rd, Pudong

Tel: 6882-8888 ext 6888

The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong

March 31

10am-12pm, Scena Italian Restaurant

Easter Sunday Brunch features a sumptuous spread of fresh seafood, traditional Italian antipasti, and home-made desserts.

Price: 488 yuan+ 15% per person and beverage packages apply

2-5:30pm, Flair Rooftop Restaurant and Bar

Easter high tea at 388 yuan+ 15% per set. Kids can bring home an Easter Egg as a memorable souvenir.

2-5:30pm, Aura Lounge and Jazz Bar

Easter afternoon tea at 388 yuan+ 15% per set served with Easter-themed home-made desserts.

Address: Shanghai ifc, 8 Century Ave, Pudong

Tel: 2020-1717

Hilton Shanghai Hongqiao

March 31, 12-3pm, Essence

Featuring Easter egg hunt, face painting, kids games and an outstanding brunch, Essence will stage a stunning festival of great food choices, sparkling wines, Champagne ...

Price: 358 yuan+15% per person

Address: 1116 Hongsong Rd E.

Tel: 3323-6571

Andaz Shanghai

March 31, 11:30am onward, HaiPai

The Easter Sunday brunch is priced at 288* yuan per person (144* yuan for children between 6 and 12 years)

* Subject to a 15% surcharge. Food only, drinks not included.

Address: Level 1, 88 Songshan Rd

Tel: 2310-1700

Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund

March 31

Easter Brunch

11am-12:30pm (Long Bar), 12-3pm (Grand Brasserie)

Price: 888 yuan+15% (includes free flow of Champagne and a selection of wine); 328 yuan+15% for children between 6-12 years old (those under 6 years old dine for free)

Easter celebrations

12-3pm (lunch), 6-10:30pm (dinner), Pelham's

Price: 688 yuan+15%; 888 yuan+15% (includes of a glass of Champagne and 3 glasses of pairing wines)

Easter afternoon tea

March 18-21, 2-5pm (Monday-Friday), 1:30-6:30pm (Saturday-Sunday), Salon de Ville

Price: 338 yuan+15% per person

Address: 2 Zhongshan Rd E1

Tel: 6322-9988

Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel

March 31, 12-2:30pm, Yu Garden Cafe

Enjoy sumptuous Easter delicacies and special Boston lobster from chef Peter. Kids can paint your own Easter egg with pastry chef.

Price: 238* per person (family package at 368* yuan for two adults & one kid below 12)

* Subject to a 15% surcharge.

Address: 159 Henan Rd S.

Tel: 2321-8955

Swissotel Grand Shanghai

March 31, 11:30am-2:30pm (lunch), 6-10:30pm (dinner), Caf? Swiss

The Easter buffet features an array of traditional Easter Sunday cuisine ? meat carvings, fresh seafood and a host of sweet delight. The little ones are kept entertained with games and toys at the Kids' Corner.

Price: 288 yuan net per person for Easter Sunday Buffet (88 yuan net for children below 12 years old)

Address: 1 Yuyuan Rd

Tel: 5355-9898 ext 6360

The Eton Hotel Shanghai

March 31, 11am-3pm, Eton Cafe

The Easter Brunch & Egg Hunt event includes a hearty brunch, lively music, an Easter kid's corner and signature desserts. Also featuring a visit from the Easter Bunny, face painters, balloon artist and egg painting. Each child gets a free take-home gift.

Price: 268 yuan net per person (including free flow soft drinks); 368 yuan net per person (including free flow soft drinks, sparkling wine, house wine and local beer)

Address: 3/F, 535êPudongêAve

Tel: 3878-9888 ext 6330

Sofitel Shanghai Hyland

March 31, 12-3pm, Mosaic Restaurant

Celebrate Easter in family with the chocolate Easter brunch featuring a chocolate factory, traditional Easter delicacies and chocolate gifts for all.

Price: 308 yuan+15% per person (including selected wines); 398 yuan+15% per person (including champagne)

Address: 505 Nanjing Rd E.

Tel: 6351-5888 ext 4281

Customer Service: (86-21) 52920164