Let's prepare for the celebrations and learn some historical facts about the holiday. Everything you'd like to know but might be too shy to ask.
It is a religious holiday celebrated by Christians to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We learn from the New Testament that the resurrection occurred on the third day of his burial following his crucifixion by Pontius Pilate over the accusations that Jesus had claimed to be the son of God. Christians believe that Jesus overcame death, and people who believe in him can hope they will have eternal life. Thus, the resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of religion.
Easter is celebrated in spring when it forces out the death of winter and brings new life, though there’s no fixed date for the celebration. Throughout almost three centuries there was confusion with the dates. It was finally determined under Emperor Constantine that it would always fall on the first Sunday following the full moon after the spring equinox (21 March) in Western Christianity. In Eastern Christianity, the Julian Calendar influences the calculation: the vernal equinox occurs on 3 April (due to the 13-day difference between the calendars), so Easter falls between 4 April and 8 May. Thus, it is obvious that any coincidence of the dates in Eastern and Western Christianity is accidental and rare.
The week before Easter is Holy Week. Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem is celebrated on Palm Sunday on the Sunday before Easter as people waved palm branches to greet him. On each day, there are special church services. The day of the crucifixion of Jesus is commemorated by Christians on Good Friday followed by Holy Saturday. The week culminates in Easter Day, the great feast day.
The 40 days preceding Easter are known as Lent – the period of fasting, self-denial, and repentance of sins. Christians prepare for the holiday by excluding some dietary items, with some people observing the fast strictly and some giving up «luxury items». Also, people give up some other things they enjoy to focus on their faith. Each Sunday during these 6 weeks is a symbolic celebration of the Resurrection, so people don’t fast and hold feasts instead.
The tradition of coloring eggs is said to be related to Mary Magdalene who was the first to see Jesus after the Resurrection. She had a plain egg in her hand when she stood before an emperor and proclaimed the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The emperor said that he didn’t believe it as he didn’t believe that this egg would turn red - and so it did while he was speaking. Also, the egg represents Jesus’s empty tomb and symbolizes new life, rebirth, and fertility. Chocolate eggs are used as well.
Did you know that the Easter Bunny is not the only animal associated with the holiday? It is a cuckoo that brings Easter eggs in Switzerland, and in Germany, there are Easter Fox, Chick or Stork.
We solemnly celebrate this day not necessarily as a religious observance but as an important time of the year. Families gather together to enjoy delicious food, create amazing memories, and share love, hope, and joy. We all need warm rays of hope and happiness to shine, and on this day, it's time to express your affection and pay attention to your loved ones. Easter holds great family traditions, encourages us to develop cooking skills and gives a sense of belonging. Make the day even brighter with SEVAZH greeting cards; they make a perfect backdrop for your words.
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