EASTER IN CHRISTIANITY
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday (also Resurrection Day or Resurrection Sunday). The chronology of his death and resurrection is variously interpreted to be between AD 26 and 36. (source: wikipedia.org)
Easter in Christianity explained
Christians celebrate the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. In most Christian churches worlwide, this is typically the most well-attended Sunday service of the year.
The name is derived from Pesach, the Hebrew name of Passover, a Jewish holiday.
Easter occurs on any date between March 23rd and April 26th. The actual date is set as the first Sunday after the first full moon that occurs after March 21. Originally Christian Easter was celebrated at the same time as Jews celebrated Passover, the 14th day of the month of Nisan. This was moved to Sundays which had become the Christian sabbath or day or rest.
The Holy week begins with the observance of Palm Sunday (the name originated from Jesus's entry in Jerusalem). The crowds laid carpets of palms on the street for him. The Last Supper is commemorated on Holy Thursday of special week and Friday is the anniversary of the crucification of Jesus Christ. The Holy week ends with Easter Sunday (resurrection of Jesus Christ).
In the bible: read Matthew 27:27-28:8; Mark 15:16-16:19; Luke 23:26-24:35; and John 19:16-20:30 for an account of Jesus' death, his burial and resurrection.
Ever since the 9th century, the main course of the Pope's Easter dinner has traditionally been roast lamb. Easter lamb also has its roots in the Jewish holiday Passover. Lamb is traditionally served at Passover to commemorate the lamb that was sacrificed at the Holy Temple of Jerusalem on the eve of the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.
Bread is symbolic of the resurrection of Christ - flour comes to life and transforms itself to bread. Hot Cross Buns are traditionally served on Good Friday Simnel cake is baked for tea. Boiled eggs are traditionally served at breakfast. Easter eggs: in many ancient cultures, eggs were a common symbol new life and immortality. In medieval times, Christians adapted the egg to their own religious devotions by giving up the eating of eggs during Lent and resuming it after Easter. Eggs came to represent the Lord's resurrection -- just as Christ broke out of the tomb on Easter morning, the yolk of the egg breaks out of its shell when cracked. The decoration of eggs for Easter is part of the folk traditions of many cultures, although it has little or no religious significance anymore.
The Easter rabbit is a popular secular symbol for Easter that has not taken on a Christian interpretation. The symbol of the Easter rabbit originated with the pagan festival of Eastre. The goddess Eastre was worshipped by the Anglo-Saxons through her earthly symbol, the rabbit.
The idea of an egg-laying rabbit came to the US in the 18th century. German immigrants in the Pennsylvania Dutch area told their children about the "Osterhase". "Hase" means "hare", not rabbit, and in Northwest European folklore the "Easter Bunny" indeed is a hare, not a rabbit.
The Paschal candle: is an ancient symbol of the risen Jesus and commonly used in liturgical parishes during the Great Fifty Days of Easter. It is a very large white candle, the largest and tallest of all sanctuary candles. Paschal candles are always inscribed with a cross, the current year, and the Greek letters alpha and omega (Revelation 1:8 and 22:13), signifying that the Lord is present in His church now in the present year and forever in eternity. Sometimes, five grains of incense, symbolizing the five wounds of Christ, are pressed into the arms and center of the cross with pins or small nails. The paschal candle is prominently featured in the service of the Great Vigil at which it is first lighted and brought into the sanctuary. According to ancient liturgical tradition, it is allowed to shine continuously throughout the Great Fifty Days until it is finally extinguished on Ascension Day. After that, it is removed from its place next to the altar and placed near the baptismal font. It is lighted at baptisms to remind Christians that in baptism we are crucified and raised with Jesus (Romans 6:3-5). The paschal candle is also lighted at Christian funerals as a reminder that those who die in Christ are raised up with Him.Easter for Orthodox and Judaism explainedEaster in Christianity explainedSaint Patrick's Day explained