Easter is a Christian festival which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It has been called a moveable feast because it doesn’t fall on a set date every year, as most festivals do. Easter falls on 16th April this year with Good Friday on April 14, and Easter Sunday on April 17.
The exact origins of this religious feast day’s name are unknown. Some sources claim the word Easter is derived from ‘Eostre’, a Teutonic Goddess of spring and fertility.
According to the New Testament, Jesus died on the cross on Good Friday, and came back to life three days later.
His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Sunday, which also marks the end of Lent, the 40-day period of fasting which begins on Ash Wednesday.
Egg giving tradition on Easter
Eggs illustrate new life, just as Jesus began his new life on East Sunday after the miracle of his resurrection.
When eggs are cracked open they are said to symbolize an empty tomb.
Originally eating eggs was forbidden in the week leading up to Easter (known as Holy Week). They were saved and decorated in the run-up to the celebration, and given to children as gifts.
Story behind Easter Bunny!
Rabbits and hares have been associated with spring since ancient times. It’s hardly surprising that rabbits and hares have become associated with fertility as they are both prolific breeders and give birth to large litters in early spring.
The legend of the Easter Bunny is thought to have originated among German Lutherans, where the ‘Easter Hare’ judged whether children had been good or bad in the run-up to Easter.
Many children believe that the Easter Bunny lays and hides baskets of coloured eggs, sweets and sometimes toys in their homes or around the garden the night before Easter Sunday – much like Father Christmas delivering gifts on Christmas Eve.
This has given rise to the tradition of the Easter egg hunt which is still popular among children today
Easter Around the World
In many central and eastern European countries decorating eggs in beautiful patterns is especially popular.
In Switzerland, Easter eggs are delivered by a cuckoo and a fox in some areas of Germany.
The egg-giving tradition arrived in the United States in the 18th century brought by protestant German immigrants in the Pennsylvania Dutch area.
On Easter Monday, the President of the United States holds an annual Easter egg roll on the lawn of the White House for young children.
‘People come together with their families to celebrate Easter. What better way to celebrate than to spend a few hours going on the journey of Christ’s life.’
– Roma Downey
Image Source: Google Images