Easter is one of the most popular Christian festivals celebrated across the world. Easter Sunday denotes the resurrection of Jesus Christ after he was crucifixion which is observed as Good Friday. According to the Bible, when Jesus' disciples went to his grave on the third day after his death, they found the stone rolled away and the place empty. The holy scriptures say he rose from the dead and hence the occasion is celebrated as Easter. Easter Sunday 2019 date is April 21, prior to which Good Friday was observed on April 19.
The week before Easter which is known as Holy Week began on April 14 and will end on April 20. It is the last week of Lent (a month of fasting) following which Palm Sunday, Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are observed. While in Western countries, Easter begins on Sunday and lasts for seven weeks while in Eastern regions, it begins with Pascha and ends with the Feast of the Ascension on a fortieth day. Good Friday 2019 Date: Significance And History of The Day Observed by Christians During Holy Week.
However, in the earlier times, Easter did not always symbolise Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The feast on Easter was originally a pagan observance celebrating the renewal and rebirth of Christ. It worshipped the pagan Saxon goddess Eastre, however, later Saxons converted to Christianity. And as the holiday fell around the same time as the memorial of Christ's resurrection from the dead, it was observed along with the pagan celebration. Eventually, it came to be known as Easter. Following which, the meaning of Easter was also changed to portray its Christian significance.
Significance of Easter
Today, Easter is observed to mark the spirit of rebirth and life and as a remembrance of Jesus' great sacrifice for mankind. Easter symbolises Christ's victory over death and promise of eternal life to those who believe in him. Jesus was often addressed as 'Rabbi' or preacher during his life on Earth. He was killed by the then Roman government for calling himself the 'Son of God' and teaching ways of eternal life. In modern times, the festival is associated with various motifs and the making of Easter eggs and Easter bunnies. Why Is It Called Good Friday? What is Great Friday? All Your FAQs Answered On Why Christians Observe Good Friday.
Eggs and bunnies began to be associated with Easter during the 15 century. According to popular belief, rabbits and eggs are associated with new life, hence the spirit of Easter and the resurrection. As rabbits give birth to many babies, they symbolise new life thus connecting to the new life of Jesus after he rose from the dead. People thus began creating nests for rabbits to lay their eggs. Over the years, decorative baskets replaced nests and gifts, and candies were distributed instead of colourful eggs.
Easter lily graces the houses and churches on this day. Egg hunting, Easter parades, decorating baskets are also held. Food is an integral part of Easter celebrations. Some of the popular dishes include glazed ham, scalloped potatoes, Easter biscuits, hot crossed buns, simnel cake, roast lamb, deviled eggs, and Easter pie. We wish everyone celebrating a Happy Easter!