Easter (Greek: Πάσχα Paskha, from Hebrew: פֶּסַח Pesakh,) is the most important annual religious feast in the Christian liturgical year. I’m not going to get into the beliefs or religious debates. Let’s just call it a holiday based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter is variably called Easter Day, Easter Sunday, Resurrection Day or Resurrection Sunday.
Easter is a movable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. Some establish the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the vernal equinox. The equinox is reckoned to be on March 21, regardless of the astronomically correct date which could place it on March 22. The “Full Moon” is not necessarily the astronomically correct date either. Therefore, the date of Easter varies between March 22 and April 25. I’ll post this on April 2 just because I can 🙂
Easter is linked to Christian beliefs and many of the celebrations are based on these beliefs. There are some relatively newer elements such as the Easter Bunny and Easter egg hunts that have become part of the holiday’s modern celebrations. These aspects are often celebrated by Christians and non-Christians alike. Just get out and enjoy the holiday.
In legend, the Easter Bunny, or Easter Hare, brings baskets filled with colored eggs, candy and toys to the homes of children on the night before Easter. In this way, the Easter Bunny is very similar in trait to its Christmas holiday counterpart, Santa Claus. The Easter Bunny will either put the baskets in a designated place or hide them somewhere in the house for the children to find when they wake up in the morning. The origin of this is mentioned in print as early as 1620 and can be traced to the German fertility goddess Ēostre. Hmmm … I wonder if hiding Christmas presents would make that more interesting for the kids? 😀
Easter eggs are specially decorated eggs given to celebrate the Easter holiday or springtime. The egg was a symbol of the rebirth of the earth in Pagan celebrations of spring and was adopted by early Christians as a symbol of the rebirth of Jesus. The oldest tradition is to use dyed or painted chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with confectionery such as jelly beans. These eggs are often hidden, allegedly by the Easter Bunny, for children to find on Easter morning. Otherwise, they are generally put in a basket filled with real or artificial straw to resemble a bird’s nest.
Holidays are fun times meant to gather family together and/or celebrate something good. Enjoy them no matter what your belief or how you celebrate.