Easter Sunday – Getting to Know Easter Celebration

easter-sundayEaster is one of the most popular, most celebrated and most loved of the Christian holidays; it is associated with the Easter bunny. Christians believe that Jesus Christ, the son of God, was crucified on the cross by his own countrymen and he was tortured and finally died. But he was resurrected on the third day of his death by crucifixion. To celebrate his coming back to life this holiday is celebrated and marks the end of Passion of Christ (which is the period of Jesus Christ’s life from his visit to Jerusalem to his crucifixion and death).

The last week of Lent, forty days in which there is fasting and repentance, is Holy Week which includes Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. After the last day of Lent, Easter Sunday is celebrated for the commemoration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection. This Sunday marks the beginning of a fifty day period of joy called Eastertide. Every Sunday in Eastertide is a Sunday of Easter but only the first is celebrated as Sunday of resurrection. The last Sunday of Eastertide is Pentecost Sunday. The first eight of Eastertide are called the Octave of Easter. During Easter school holidays are given to all students which adds an uncommon happiness to this event.

One of the main reasons for the main prayer day of Christians being on Sunday is because of Easter being on Sunday.

When Is Easter?

Easter is one of those festivals which do not have a fixed date; the day varies from year to year. In earlier days, that is, before 325 AD, Easter was celebrated immediately after the first full moon after the spring equinox. After 325 the priests and the Church made a more reliable system for calculating Easter and it became the standard method.

The new method for determining Easter, which is followed even now, is to calculate the date of the Paschal Moon. Now what is the Paschal moon? The Paschal moon is the Passover Moon which is Jewish holiday celebrating the independence of Israelites from Egypt. So the first full moon after Paschal Moon, also known as Passover Moon, is the full moon and the Sunday coming immediately after that is the one on which the festive holiday of Easter is celebrated. Te Paschal Moon is the first full moon after 20th March. I know this is all too much information so you are going to have to concentrate while reading.

EASTER 2014: March 20

The date of Easter does not have any impact on things; it could fall on any day because the exact death record of Jesus Christ was not noted and was forgotten, hence it does not really matter when you celebrate the resurrection. In 2014, Easter will be on March 20th.

Easter Celebration

easter-bunny

Whatever is celebrated on an occasion is what that occasion stands for. Christmas stands for happiness and joy so people exchange gifts and they have meals with family. Easter stands for resurrection of Jesus Christ so his followers celebrate joy. Good Friday of the Holy Week is the day when Christ was crucified and executed and Easter Sunday is the day on which he was resurrected.

Easter celebrations revolve around the Easter bunny and Easter eggs. Now in no way is Easter concerned with fluffy bunnies who put out chocolate eggs for kids to find but a lot of religions, civilizations and societies have changed under the influence of others, minority or majority. This is what happened with Easter when hundreds of years back under the influence of pagans this traditional holiday was changed and evolved into something different. Around the time when Easter was changed the pagans worshiped a goddess of spring and fertility called Eostra. Spring means rebirth and fertility, well it means fertility. Being the fertility goddess she was represented by an animal with an extremely high fertility rate, an animal that can have one to sixteen babies in one litter; guess which animal it is? Yes, that is right, it’s the cute rabbit! So paganism was incorporated through adorable bunnies into Christianity.

After the Easter bunny came the legend that these rabbits left and laid eggs and hid them in people’s gardens. This legend grew stronger and became a part of Easter beliefs and it led to people putting out baskets for the rabbit in their gardens. The nests became baskets and the eggs became chocolate eggs and other candies. Today, there are so many Easter egg decorating ideas have emerged to make those eggs even cuter and more colorful.

Easter Traditions

easter-egg-hunting

These traditions vary from country to country and from region to region. Easter traditions include the myth of the rabbit mentioned above and its egg laying nature. On Easter children are given chocolate, strawberry and whatever other flavor of eggs you can think of in colored and decorated baskets.  They are told the story of Jesus Christ, his life, his arrest, his crucifixion, his death and eventually his resurrection.

In Britain the tradition of giving eggs to children is popular. Eggs are also hidden in various places in the garden and children are told to find the eggs that Easter bunny hid for them behind bushes and high grass. Egg hunting activities and games are also played just for the fun of it. In France chocolate fishes are more popular unlike the eggs in Britain. In Finland the concept of Easter and its traditions is totally different; children put soot on their faces and go on the street begging. In Poland, now this is interesting, the man of the house which is the head of the house cannot take part in Easter preparations because things would go wrong if he did and then people pour water on each other on Monday.

The main thing about the traditions and celebrations is having fun; people are exchanging Easter wishes and greetings, the children are happy because of the so many chocolate eggs while adults are happy because children are excited and having the time of their lives. Some also look for Easter basket ideas to give to their loved ones, family and friends. Easter is not only about fun it is also about remembering how Jesus Christ was treated and his death because that is exactly what the festival is about; it is to commemorate his resurrection and remember his death.

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