Society

Easter - Holidays Around the World

Easter is a Christian holiday that is observed in many countries around the world.

Easter, also referred to as the resurrection Sunday and Pascha, is a holiday and festival which commemorates the resurrection of Christ. The week before this festival is referred to as the Holy week plus it features the Triduum days with Thursday representing the last supper and Good Friday depicting the death and crucifixion of Christ.

Etymology

The term ‘’Easter’’ is derived from an ancient English goddess who was mentioned by monk Bede during the 7th and 8th-centuries. He wrote that the ‘’Eosturmonap’’ was an old month which corresponded to April and was once named after the goddess Eostre and the celebrations were to honor her. In the Greek and Latin, the festival is referred to as ‘’Pascha’’ which initially denoted the famous Jewish celebrations known as the Passover, and it commemorates the exodus of the Jew from Egypt.

The Easter plus the holidays associated with it are movable festivals which do not have an exact date in both Julian and Gregorian calendar, but the date is determined on the luni-solar calendar which resembles the Hebrew calendar. This holiday is preceded by forty days of penance, fasting, and prayers. In western Christianity, this holiday falls on one of the Sunday from March 22 to April 25. In most countries the day after the Easter weekend the Easter Monday is a legal holiday.

Background

The new statement describes the resurrection of Christ as the foundation of faith among Christians. The resurrection established Jesus as the Lord’s son plus the Lord will judge everyone on earth in righteousness. The Old Testament links the Easter feasts with the Passover which is preceded by the exodus from Egypt. Jesus redefined the Passover during the last supper which he had before his crucifixion.

The Jews and the Gentiles who were the 1st Christians knew of the Hebrew calendar and the Jewish Christians who were the 1st Christians to celebrate Easter related the holiday to the Passover. Direct-evidence of fully formed Pascha holiday appeared during the mid second century. In fact, the earliest existing source of this festival is in the mid second century Paschal-homily which was attributed to the Melito-of-Sardis which symbolized the festival of the well established one. Another evidence of an annual Christian holiday appears at around the same time and is a sign of Easter celebrations.

Rituals and Customs

Although to Christians, Easter is a religious holiday, the holiday has been highly commercialized and is full of chocolate rabbits, colorful eggs, and Easter baskets. The colored egg is an archaic symbol of rebirth and new birth which represents the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus. The staining of the eggs originated from the Mesopotamia Christian community to commemorate the blood-of-Jesus. To Christians, the egg symbolizes an empty tomb.

The Easter-bunny is a famous anthropomorphic gift-giver just like Santa Claus with Christmas. The Americans follow these traditions of coloring boiled eggs while giving candies. In the United States, the president always holds an Easter egg-roll for the children on the lawn of the White House. In Australia, they use an Easter Bilby instead of a rabbit which is a pest in Australia.

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