Christianity’s most important and honored holiday – Easter. It fell, this year, on 4th April, as it does not fall on a set date every year. Following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21, Easter is set anywhere between March 22 and April 25 each year.
‘Unknown and jumbled’ is how one could describe the exact origin of the word ‘Easter’. Many sources say that it came from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility, while other sources claim that this word dates back to the Latin term hebdomada alba, or white week, a reference to the white clothes the soon-to-be baptized people would wear. The word is actually derived from the Greek and Latin Pascha, for Passover. Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection occurred after he went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, which is a Jewish festival that celebrates their exodus from slavery. Pascha eventually came to mean ‘Easter’.
No, unfortunately for you, Easter is not about eating chocolate Reese’s Easter Bunnies. I warn you: be prepared for a lesson based on religion. If you are against religion, you should not be here at this point. This holiday is not a single-day observance in the church life. It actually is it’s own season. In the leader-up to Easter is a period called ‘Lent’. It is a time of reflection and penance since Jesus spent 40 days (the time Lent lasts) in the wilderness before the Passover. Some say that he survived many temptations by the devil. Before Lent, many celebrate Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday: a period in which people stuff themselves before the fasting of Lent.
The week before before Easter is named ‘Holy Week’. Maundy Thursday, which celebrates Jesus’ ‘Last Supper’ with his disciples, is recognizable and celebrated in the Mass. If you are religious, this is where the consecration comes from. Good Friday is the day of Jesus’ crucifixion, in which Pontius Pilate sentenced him to death. He was then buried in a tomb for 3 days, following the Resurrection on Sunday, Easter.
Alright, alright. You were waiting for the candy. Yes, in addition to this holy holiday, it has a commercial side to it too! Easter eggs, bunnies, baskets, candy, and the Easter Bunny are involved.
Fun Fact: Did you know that over 90 million chocolate Easter Bunnies are made every year?
What do you think about Easter? Did you know that it’s main purpose was holiness? Discuss with us below!
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