Easter Background: – Here’s the deal that Easter is the day on which Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter traditions vary from country to country and can differ even within regions of the same country. However, there are a few Easter traditions that are celebrated around the world.
Holy Thursday, which is when Jesus held his last supper with his disciples; and Good Friday, which is when Jesus was crucified. Easter Sunday is the day when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter marks the completion of Lent, which is a 40-day period of prayer, penance, and fasting. The last week of Lent, which is the week before Easter, is often referred to as Holy Week. During this week, Christians observe Palm Sunday, which marks Jesus’ return to Jerusalem.
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Enjoy Easter bread and cakes with dinner. Hot cross buns, which are spiced buns with a sugar cross on top, are popular for Easter Sunday. In some traditions, Simmer cake is served. Easter is supposed to the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, but when someone hears Easter, they think of the Easter Bunny and eggs. Since ancient times rabbits have been associated with spring.
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The meaning of Easter is Jesus Christ’s victory over death. His resurrection symbolizes the eternal life that is granted to all who believe in Him. His resurrection changed all that and gave final and irrefutable proof that He was really the Son of God and that He had conquered death once and for all.
The meaning of Easter also symbolizes the complete verification of all that Jesus preached and taught during His three-year ministry. If He had not risen from the dead, if He had merely died and not been resurrected, He would have been considered just another teacher or Rabbi.
When the early missionaries converted the Saxons to Christianity, the holiday, since it fell around the same time as the traditional memorial of Christ’s resurrection from the dead, was merged with the pagan celebration, and became known as Easter. The meaning of Easter was also changed to reflect its new Christian orientation.
However, Easter did not always symbolize Christ’s resurrection from the dead and the meaning of Easter was quite different than what Christians celebrate today. The feast day of Easter was originally a pagan celebration of renewal and rebirth. Celebrated in the early spring, it honored the pagan Saxon goddess Easter.
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Early Christians adopted the pagan festival of Easter as a time to celebrate the risen Christ, rather than the goddess of spring. Today, the vernal equinox still determines the date for Easter.
The word Easter has its roots in “Easter,” which was the name of the Teutonic goddess of spring. Easter was originally a pagan festival that celebrated the beginning of spring. The festival focused on fertility and utilized the egg and the rabbit as symbols of the celebration.Many churches decorate their worship spaces with Easter lilies or special liturgical banners. Some churches celebrate Holy Communion, while others observe the sacrament of baptism, which is a symbol of new life in Christ
Easter Sunday church services vary in traditions, depending upon the denomination and style of worship. Most Easter Sunday services follow the church’s standard order of worship but usually incorporate festive music.
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Many Christian denominations begin observing Easter on Saturday night with an Easter vigil. The vigil typically begins in darkness and involves lighting a large Paschal candle. The service includes readings from the Old Testament and New Testament. When the story of the resurrection is read, lights are turned on and church bells are rung. The Easter vigil concludes with Holy Communion, often referred to as the Eucharist.
Decorate Easter eggs. Although the symbol of the egg is rooted in a pagan springtime fertility feast, Christians have adopted the egg as an Easter symbol that represents new life. In many areas of the world, people color and decorate hard-boiled eggs as part of their Easter celebrationsParticipate in an Easter Egg hunt.
Once the eggs are decorated, children search for eggs hidden throughout their homes or gardens. In some traditions, the Easter Bunny hides the eggs on Easter morning for the children to find later that day.
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Celebrate with an Easter basket from the Easter Bunny. Like the egg, the rabbit was a symbol of fertility associated with the pagan festival of Easter. Today, a common tradition is that the Easter Bunny brings baskets filled with candy to children on Easter morning. Attend an Easter parade.
The tradition of the Easter parade began in the 1800s as people walked down 5th Avenue in New York City after Easter Sunday church services. Now many cities offer Easter parades on Easter Sunday or the day before Easter.
Dress in “Easter best” attire. The tradition of wearing new clothes on Easter dates back centuries, as people chose to celebrate the new birth with new clothing. They referred to their new clothes as their “Easter best.” Today, people around the world dress up in their finest attire for Easter church services.
Celebrate Easter Sunday with a traditional dinner. Easter dinner customs vary throughout the world. However, in Western societies, a traditional Easter dinner consists of either lamb or ham as the main dish.
- Consider a lamb roast. The lamb roast dinner has its roots in Jewish tradition when a lamb was eaten during Passover. As Jews converted to Christianity, they incorporated the Passover tradition into their Easter dinners.
- Consider a ham. In the United States, ham is a popular choice because pork that was cured in the winter was ready for consumption in the spring.
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