During Jane Austen’s day, the Easter Season (Easter and the 40 days following it, until Ascension Sunday, when Christ’s final ascension into heaven is celebrated) or the Easter Holidays as they are sometimes referred to, were a time of traveling and visiting Family. Every mention of Easter in her letters and novels involves travel, including her most notorious use in Pride and Prejudice when Mr. Darcy arrives at Rosings Park, to visit his aunt, Lady Catherine DuBourgh.
There is not a lot of information about how the Austen’s celebrated the season. What little we do know is drawn from Jane’s letters and what was typical for the period. While it is assured that Jane Austen celebrated Easter, her holiday was probably a quiet one. She would have observed Lent and broken the “Fast” on Easter with a special dinner with her family. She may have dyed eggs and probably ate them in abundance once Lent was concluded. Mrs Austen is known to have had chickens at Chawton Cottage and it is unlikely that they would have allowed the eggs to spoil.
Likewise, Austen mentions Lambs at Steventon, as well as Hams that her mother cured so either might have been eaten at Easter dinner. In her letters, she mentions using the Easter Holidays as a time to travel, and visiting friends along the way to one of her brothers’ houses.