Easter is a very popular holiday that is celebrated worldwide by Christians and Jews (as Passover). The article reveals some significant details about the celebration of the same.
This year, Easter, the oldest Christian holiday, falls on April 1 and it is celebrated all over the world by devout and non-believers alike. Here we present seven must-know facts about this much-loved festival:
- The rise of the dead: The reason why Easter is celebrated so widely because it carries with it joyous theological meaning. It is the day when Christ was supposed to have been resurrected which is supposed to have occurred on the third day of his burial according to the New Testament, thus proving that he is indeed the Son of God.
- Before Easter: Easter is preceded by a number of important commemorative days such as the Good Friday which remembers Jesus’ crucifixion and death. Forty days before Easter is the Christian ‘festival’ of Lent which is celebrated finally concluding in the in the Holy Week where the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus are commemorated.
- What’s up with all the chocolate? Easter eggs are usually hard-boiled, decorated eggs used as gifts. Although the oldest customs included using chicken eggs, the modern way is to make chocolate eggs that are symbolic of the empty tomb of Jesus (the cracking open of the eggs thus alluding to resurrection). There are Easter egg hunts that are widely popular such as the annual one held at the White House.
- Not your usual Santa: The legend of the Easter Bunny started among the German Lutherans, where a hare played the role of a judge who decided the children in the beginning of the season or Eastertide. The bunny is supposed to appear and bring coloured eggs in his basket, candies and other gifts to the children’s homes on Easter Eve.
- Floral symbols: Lilies are associated with Easter and they symbolise the resurrection, new life, hope and the beginning of a new season. The Easter Lily is supposed to have originated (according to Christian mythology) in the garden of Eden where the flower originated from the tears shed by Eve when she left Eden.
- The colour red: Orthodox Greek Christians dye their Easter eggs red which symbolises blood and the victory of life over the death of Jesus. Some legends also link the colour to Mary Magdalene, the alleged spouse of Jesus as well as the Virgin Mary.
- Namesake: the festival is supposed to be named after a pre-Christian goddess in England called Eostre who symbolised the beginning of spring. According to the writings of a 7th-century monk named Bede, the celebration of Easter during the spring or the month of “Eosturmonath” (in Old English) led to the coining of the name of the festival by later Christians.
Feature Image Credits: The Conversation