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Easter

celebrating the resurrection of Jesus The Messiah

  Easter, the Pasch, or among Eastern Orthodox Pascha, is a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus The Messiah. As described in the New Testament, Jesus was crucified at Calvary and then resurrected three days later.

  Easter is the climax of the Passion (derived from the Greek verb πάσχω (paschō), to suffer). This is preceded by the forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance known as Lent. The last week of Lent is called Holy Week. It contains the days of the Easter Triduum (Holy Triduum, or Paschal Triduum) which includs Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday), commemorating the Last Supper and its preceding foot washing, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday.

  Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The date of Easter varies between 22 March and 25 April.

  Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In many languages, the words for “Easter” and “Passover” are considered homonyms.

  Easter customs vary across the Christian world, but attending sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church and decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb, are common motifs. Additional customs include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades, which are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians.

  The second-century equivalent of Easter and the Paschal Triduum was called by both Greek and Latin writers Pascha, derived from the Hebrew term Pesach (פֶּסַח), known in English as Passover, the Jewish festival commemorating the story of the Exodus. Paul writes from Ephesus that “Christ our Pascha has been sacrificed for us.

  The modern English term Easter is generally believed to have originally referred to the name of an Anglo-Saxon goddess, Ēostre, a form of the widely attested Indo-European dawn goddess. The evidence for the Anglo-Saxon goddess, however, has not been universally accepted, and some have proposed that Eostre may have meant “the month of opening” or that the name Easter may have arisen from the designation of Easter Week in Latin as in albis.

Taken from WikiPedia

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