Easter around the world

Millions of Christians around the world are marking Easter this weekend with religious ceremonies, re-enactments or simply by seeing friends and family.

Cheers and tears at 135th White House Easter Egg Roll

President Barack Obama kicked off the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. The President was joined by his wife Michelle, daughters, Malia and Sasha, the Easter bunny and Robbie Novak aka 'Kid President'.

'Kid President'  Robbie Novak joins the First Family on the White House lawn
'Kid President' Robbie Novak joins the First Family on the White House lawn Credit: Olivier Douliery/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

Watch: White House April Fools 'message from the President'

The tradition to invite public to the South lawn of the White House was started 135 years ago by then President Rutherford Hayes and his wife Lucy.

President Obama consoles Donovan Frazier, 5, who lost during his easter egg roll event on the South Lawn of the White House
President Obama consoles Donovan Frazier, 5, who lost during his easter egg roll event on the South Lawn of the White House Credit: Reuters

Watch: The White House Easter Egg Roll event lice video stream

Obamas celebrate Easter

The Obama family walk to the Easter service at St John's Church
The Obama family walk to the Easter service at St John's Church Credit: REUTERS/Jeff Mason

Barack Obama and his family have attended a special Easter service at St John's Episcopal Church in Washington. The first family walked from the White House to attend the service.

U.S. President Barack Obama  and his daughter Malia walk out with Rev. Luis Leon
U.S. President Barack Obama and his daughter Malia walk out with Rev. Luis Leon Credit: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

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Christians celebrate Easter

Easter Sunday represents a new beginning for Christians, but today had an even stronger sense of renewal for Anglicans and Catholics.

Both have new leaders just settling into their roles and it's today that their messages tend to reach the widest audience of the year.

Martha Fairlie reports on a warning from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope's plea for peace.

Queen leads Easter service at Windsor Castle

Members of the Royal Family were led by the Queen at the traditional Easter Sunday service at Windsor Castle today.

A crowd of well-wishers gathered outside St George's Chapel to see the royals as they arrived for the Mattins service on a cold March morning.

Queen Elizabeth leaves the Easter Day service at St George's Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle. Credit: PA

The Queen, who was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, wore a long pink coat and matching hat accessorised by a flower.

The Queen receives flowers from local children as she leaves the service. Credit: PA

Princess Eugenie wore a cream dress and hat with a black coat, while her sister, Princess Beatrice, wore a turquoise dress and coat, with a yellow hat. Their father, the Duke of York, was also at the service.

Bookies pay out £250,00 on a White Easter

Easter temperatures have dipped to record cold levels.
Easter temperatures have dipped to record cold levels. Credit: Press Association

Bookies have been forced to pay out to lucky punters who bet on a White Easter.

Ladbrokes have paid out more than £250,000 in White Easter winnings. They made it a 4/6 shot that snow would start falling between Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said:

"Punters who backed a White Easter have never been happier to see the snow fall this weekend."

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Pope calls for peace in Middle East and Korea

Pope Francis delivered his message from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica to a crowd of around 250,000 people. Credit: Reuters

Pope Francis used his first Easter Sunday address to call for peace in the world and appealed for a diplomatic solution to the crisis on the Korean peninsula.

In his first "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) message, Francis also called for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, an end to the civil war in Syria, and political solutions to conflicts in several African countries.

The former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina also condemned the "iniquitous exploitation of natural resources" and urged everyone to be "guardians" of creation.

Cameron praises Christian charity in Easter message

David Cameron sent his best wishes to Christians in the UK and around the world celebrating Easter. Credit: Press Association

Prime Minister David Cameron sent his best wishes to Christians celebrating Easter, saying it was an "exciting time for the faith" and paying tribute to the Christian principle of charity, as shown in the government's spending in overseas aid. He said:

"This year’s Holy Week and Easter celebrations follow an extraordinary few days for Christians.

“In the Bible, Saint Peter reminds us of the hope that comes from new birth through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As Christians, it also reminds us of Jesus’s legacy of generosity, tolerance, mercy, and forgiveness.

“That legacy lives on in so many Christian charities and churches both at home and abroad... As long as I am Prime Minister, they will have the support of this Government.

“With that in mind, I am particularly proud to lead a Government that has kept its promise to invest 0.7 per cent of our gross national income on helping the world’s poorest...I hope you have a very happy Easter.”

Read the full message here.

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