What is Easter?

    Easter is often associated with eggs, bunnies, flowers, and springtime. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
    Easter is often associated with eggs, bunnies, flowers, and springtime. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

    Pastel colored Easter eggs stuffed with candy, chicks hatching from eggs, or cute bunny decorations are all commonly associated with Easter. But where did Easter originate and what are we actually celebrating?

    Easter stems from a Christian tradition of the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. According to modern bibles, Jesus Christ was crucified and died on the cross. After three days of rest in a tomb, he was resurrected.

    Easter is typically celebrated after Lent, the Christian season of fasting that lasts for forty days (not including Sundays) and begins on Ash Wednesday. Lent is based on the date of Easter. Easter falls on the Sunday after the “Paschal full moon,” which, in simpler terms, is the Sunday after the first spring full moon. This year, the Paschal full moon lands on March 25th, so Easter is March 31st. 

    In Eastern Orthodox churches, Easter is celebrated using the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar. Therefore, Orthodox churches’ Easter falls during April 4th and May 8th, whereas Catholic Easter falls between March 22nd and April 25th. 

    Typical religious Easter celebrations include Sunday Mass, paschal greeting, and late-night vigils, and festivals. Non-religious celebrations, however, include egg hunts, decorating eggs, celebrations of spring, and gift-giving.

    The question might occur; how did Easter originate from religious meaning and turn into the modern-day Easter with bunnies and eggs?

    To begin, eggs symbolize fertility and new life, which coincides with the resurrection the holiday stemmed from. Some sources claim that the Easter Bunny originates from a German tradition in the 1700s of “Osterhase” or “Oschter Hares,” a folklore bunny laying eggs. 

    Springtime is often thought of as a season of new beginnings, too. The growth of flowers, the birth of animals, and the reappearance of the environment all symbolize new life and are therefore associated with the holiday.

    Even if you’re not religious, Easter is the holiday of new beginnings and life. Take the time to give yourself a fresh start through self care, relaxation, or just enjoy the environment.

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