Your school must have declared a holiday on 15th April 2022 on the occasion of Good Friday. So, you must have heard about Easter as well. I am sure you are aware that Easter is a festival observed by Christians. But, what is Easter and why is it celebrated? This article will answer all such queries you may have. And guess what? You can too celebrate Easter Sunday in your own little ways. Here are some interesting facts about Easter and 5 fun ways to celebrate Easter Sunday with your friends and family. Read ahead to know more about the Easter festival.
The word 'Easter' has been coined from 'Eastra', who is the ancient German Goddess of Spring. This year, Easter will be celebrated on 17th April 2022, which of course falls on a Sunday. Easter is also known as Pascha or Resurrection Sunday. It is a Christian festival and cultural holiday when Christians all around the world commemorate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. According to the New Testament, the event took place on the third day of Christ’s burial, following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary in 30 AD. Easter is usually preceded by Lent, which is a period of 40 days when Christians observe fast, acts of penance and prayers.
The week before Easter is considered the Holy Week, which contains Palm Sunday, Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. The date of the Easter festival is usually based on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox. A festival of spring and new beginnings, Easter symbolises the rebirth of nature, the return of fertility to the land and the birth of young animals. Since Christ’s crucifixion is remembered on Good Friday and His resurrection on Easter Sunday, the idea of rebirth came to be associated with Easter. Easter is held to be the holiest day of the year.
Many churches throughout the world hold special services, music, flowers, candlelight and the ringing of church bells on Easter Sunday. In some countries, such as the Philippines and Spain, Easter processions are held. Many people also decorate eggs that are either hard-boiled, which can be eaten, or model eggs made of plastic, chocolate, candy or other materials. Some countries organise dramas exhibiting the Easter story or fun Easter egg hunts. In the Easter egg hunts, eggs are hidden and then children search for them.
Let us look at some interesting ways in which Easter is celebrated throughout the world:
Bermuda - In Bermuda, kites are flown to symbolise the awakening of Christ.
Finland and Sweden - Children in Finland and Sweden wear Easter witch costumes and visit their neighbourhood. They grant wishes of happiness and good health to all.
Germany - People decorate eggs and hang them from the branches of Easter egg trees called ostereierbaum.
Poland - On Easter Sunday, visitors take baskets of food to the church to be blessed. A cake in the shape of a lamb (considered a symbol of Christ) is eaten. Also, Easter eggs called 'pisanki' are painted.
Scotland - Little children in Scotland celebrate Easter by participating in egg rolling competitions down a grassy hill. The winner is the one whose egg rolls the farthest.
Spain - Men in some places in Spain dress up as skeletons on Maundy Thursday. They then perform a dance of death to signify Christ's death. Spain also holds parades that are followed by cloaked people praying for forgiveness from God.
USA - An Easter egg rolling event is held at the White House in Washington D.C., USA, every year during the Easter festival.
Easter is a religious occasion that is both sombre and cheerful. It includes several practices and traditions that are not necessarily religious in nature. Let us learn about some interesting Easter symbols and their meanings to explore more about this festival.
Easter Lilies: Easter lilies are an important part of Easter celebrations. It is believed that white lilies grew around Jesus Christ when His sweat dropped on the ground while being crucified.
Hot Cross Bun: Hot cross buns are usually consumed on Good Friday. The cross on top of the buns symbolises the Cross of Christ.
Baby Chicks: Baby chicks are born by hatching eggs. Hence, they have come to be associated with Easter, symbolising new life and spring in general.
Easter Eggs: The tradition of painting and decorating Easter eggs has made eggs the most prominent symbol of Easter. A universal symbol of fertility, Easter eggs are cracked open to show the emergence of Jesus from his tomb.
Easter Bunny: The Easter bunny legend narrates that a rabbit carries baskets full of eggs to be shared. This has resulted in the modern Easter bunny and treats that kids get. However, rabbits are eternal symbols of fertility and life.
You do not always have to be a part of any particular community to celebrate a festival. Festivals are times of joy and celebration. It is a time when we can remember each other and wish for their well-being. Take a look at these 5 interesting things you can do this Easter.
Wish Those Who Celebrate Easter: I’m sure you have friends and teachers or other people you know who celebrate Easter. It is always a kind gesture to call or text them and wish them well on the special occasion of Easter. It will make them feel happy that you remember them and in turn, you too will experience joy.
Painting Easter Eggs: Let’s start with some craft. Ask your parents to make a small crack in a few eggs and clean the inside thoroughly. Now using colours and glitters, paint the eggs as you like. You can hang them for decoration purposes.
Easter Egg Hunt: Now that you have some beautifully decorated eggs, insert a candy and a small thank you note in each of them. Then hide these eggs throughout your house or classroom. Ask your siblings, cousins or friends to hunt for these eggs.
Watch/Read Easter Movies/Stories: The best way to understand the essence of the Easter festival is to know about the Easter story. You can always watch a movie related to Easter or the Easter bunny. Moreover, there are several interesting stories on Easter that you can read.
Have an Easter Themed Breakfast: Food is an integral part of any celebration. Similarly, on Easter, you can help your mother prepare an Easter themed breakfast. These could include some hard-boiled eggs or egg toasts. Some fruit salad or carrot cake. Make a simple hot cross bun in your own way. You can also enjoy cookies or puddings.
With Easter around the corner, we hope you have gained good knowledge about the festival and would like to try out these wonderful ideas to celebrate the festival of new life and beginning - Easter. To know more about such interesting festivals and special days of the year, head over to our website and explore the blog section.