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10 Virtual Ways to Celebrate Easter

For many, Easter weekend is a time to get outside in the fresh air and spend time with friends and family.

But with the nation in lockdown due to COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, the spring bank holiday is looking very different for many this year.

But who said just because Easter entertainment is virtual, it can't be fun? Here are 10 things to get up to while staying in.

One for opera lovers

Classical singer Andrea Bocelli will mark Easter Sunday by singing live from the empty Duomo cathedral in Milan, Italy.

Titled, Music For Hope, the Italian star will perform favourites including Ave Maria and Sancta Maria accompanied by an organist.

Describing Easter as the "universal symbol of rebirth", Bocelli says he hopes the event will bring together millions of people "to hug this wounded Earth's pulsing heart".

A famous tenor singing in one of the world's largest Catholic cathedrals looks set to be a breathtaking experience.

It will stream on Bocelli's YouTube channel at 6pm UK time.

Spend some time with Jarvis Cocker

Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess is hosting online album parties to bring music lovers "together, apart" during coronavirus lockdown.

Every evening, Burgess and friends will guide fans through the stories and memories behind some of the greatest albums of the past few decades.

Highlights so far have included Blur drummer Dave Rowntree hosting Parklife, former Oasis guitarist Bonehead talking fans through Definitely Maybe, and The Charlatans' own first record, Some Friendly.

Supergrass, Suede, The Libertines and Chemical Brothers are still to come.

So, if you fancy spending Easter Sunday evening listening to Pulp's multi-platinum selling album A Different Class from 9pm, followed up with New Order's studio album Power Corruption & Lies at 10pm, you're in luck.

A word from the Pope

Easter at the Vatican is going virtual, as Pope Francis refuses to let COVID-19 stop him from getting stuck into one of his busiest working weeks.

The 83-year-old pontiff will preside over Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday Mass as normal, but members of the public will not be present.

All liturgies will take place at the Vatican in St Peter's Basilica, with the Stations of the Cross procession in St Peter's Square.

While the faithful will be able to watch at home via The Vatican's YouTube website, eagle eyed churchgoers will notice some omissions.

The traditional washing of feet on Holy Thursday, the kissing of the Cross on Good Friday and baptisms and candle lighting during the Holy Saturday ceremony have all been removed due to COVID-19.

Fleabag from your sofa

You've seen the TV series, now watch the play from the comfort of your own living room.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is streaming her live Fleabag show - which was a hit last year both on the West End and Broadway - to raise money for the NHS and theatre charities.

The performance, which was first broadcast to cinemas as part of National Theatre Live, is now available to stream in the UK and Ireland.

For a minimum £4 donation, fans can get access for 48-hours on Soho Theatre's On Demand streaming site. 

Waller-Bridge told fans: "Thank you in advance to those who donate. Now go get into bed with Fleabag! It's for charity!!"

The shows must go on

Taking the family to enjoy a night of musical theatre can be pricey - but fear not - Andrew Lloyd-Webber has got your back.

With theatres around the country closed due to the virus, the composer is making some of his hit musicals available to watch for free on YouTube.

His The Shows Must Go On channel launched last week with Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

For Easter, Lord Lloyd-Webber will also be releasing rock musical Jesus Chris Superstar on Good Friday at 7pm.

Recorded in 2012, it stars ex-Spice Girl Melanie C, Australian funnyman Tim Minchin, and presenter Chris Moyles.

Behind-the-scenes footage will also be uploaded regularly to the channel.

Fans who enjoy the performances are encouraged to donate to charities Acting for Others, Broadway Cares and the Actors' Benevolent Fund.

Meercat Easter egg hunt anyone?

London Zoo may have closed its gates to visitors, but that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy hanging out with the animals.

Zookeepers are still busy looking after all creatures large and small and are regularly sharing videos of goings-on around the attraction.

Bringing the zoo to you at home, keepers are sharing fun moments with penguins, river hogs, giraffes, pelicans and some very itchy pygmy goats to name but a few.

And in honour of Easter, the meercats enjoyed their very own Easter egg hunt, with Frank, Dracula, Archie, Penelope, Timon, Aurora and Meko tucking into brightly coloured eggs as a special treat.

The Zoo, which houses 18,000 animals, is calling on virtual visitors to help support the zoo while it's closed to the public during the pandemic.

Eggs everywhere

While real Easter egg hunts are cancelled due to COVID-19, virtual Easter egg hunts are all the rage.

After pictures of rainbows were displayed in front windows to spread hope during the outbreak, now children are being called on to share their egg drawings.

New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern helped boost the trend when she declared the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy to be essential workers and shared an Easter egg template for children to colour.

Numerous #easteregghunt projects are going on across the world, all with the aim of entertaining kids while they create their artwork, and then offer a further distraction for families out exercising over Easter.

So, grab a pen and some crayons and get colouring, then share your picture in your window and online.

Bedtime stories

Getting to sleep after spending the majority of the day in the house can be tough, especially for kids.

So why not listen to a bedtime story, read by a celebrity?

Hollywood actresses Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams have created Save With Stories, a US charity that can both provide youngsters with entertainment and raise money for the coronavirus crisis.

Stars including Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal and Eddie Redmayne have all shared their favourite children's story on Instagram.

And if you like your stories a little less LA and a little more London, every day at 11am on Instagram David Walliams is sharing an audio story from one of his own short story collections for children.

Borough Market Digital Extravaganza

Borough Market - one of the oldest and largest markets in London - has decided that if people can't come to it for Easter, it will bring Easter to them via Instagram.

Its five-day food and drink "eggs-travaganza" kicks off on Thursday with some Easter baking and is followed by a hot cross bun masterclass on Good Friday.

"Fishy Friday" also has a session during which fishmongers will give their top seafood tips.

Other events include draw-alongs, cook-offs, storytelling and tips on keeping your vegetable patch in tip-top condition.

An egg workshop on Easter Monday morning looks set to be the jewel in the Easter crown.

Collapse with the kids

If, after an action-packed virtual Easter weekend all you're good for is collapsing on the sofa with the kids - you're in luck.

A couple of new film releases this Easter will provide plenty of kid-friendly action, first in the form of Sonic The Hedgehog.

The rebooted little blue fella will be teaming up with Sheriff Tom Wachowski (played by James Marsden) in the fight to save the planet from the clutches of Dr Robotnik (a moustachioed Jim Carrey).

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And as if that's not enough excitement, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is back along with Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan in Jumanji: The Next Level.

The fourth in the fantasy franchise, it also features cameos from singers Nick Jonas and rapper and actress Awkwafina.

Both are available digitally now.

Sky News

© Sky News 2020


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