Easter : Significance and Celebrations in the World
Easter is the time of the year to celebrate new life and holiness and is revolves around the Christian story of Lord Jesus.
Easter For Christians
Easter is a festival to celebrate resurrection (coming back to life) of Jesus Christ after the crucifixion on Good Friday. After Jesus’ crucifixion, Jesus’ body was put in a tomb, which was a type of grave. Three days later, on Sunday, the monument was found empty, and people got to know that Jesus had risen from death.
Easter is an auspicious Christian springtime holiday that celebrating the new life and rebirth of Lord Jesus. Many symbols, like rabbits and eggs, are taken from ancient traditions. The time of celebration of Easter is not the same all over the world. For example, the Greek Orthodox Church is believed to celebrate it at a different time as compared to the Catholic Church.
Easter is not celebrated on the same date each year. It is usually celebrated between late March and late April after the spring equinox.
The meanings of common Easter symbols:
Cross symbolized the story when the church crucified Jesus on the wooden cross, his death, and resurrection.
Eggs symbolize the rebirth of Jesus.
Rabbits symbolize flourishing, happy, and new life.
Lambs represent springtime and signify new life.
Palm fronds symbolize peace and prosperity. It has links with the Bible. It has been told in the Bible that Jesus was greeted with palm fronds when he arrived in Jerusalem before the soldiers arrested him.
Purple is the color of royalty and a sign of mourning in the Bible.
Christians participate in a period of forty days before Easter called Lent. During the period of Lent, people give up some items such as chocolate while some do not eat meat, fish, eggs, or dairy. The last week of the period of Lent is called Holy Week.
Palm Sunday is the first day of Holy Week. It is the day when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem. Maundy Thursday is another important day of the Last Supper and Good Friday, as we all know, is the day of Jesus’ crucifixion and death. Easter Sunday comes as a day of a big celebration at the end of the period of Lent celebrated with feasting and treated to commemorate Jesus’ resurrection.
In Australia, the celebration of Easter is a four-day long weekend. It begins on Good Friday and ends on Easter Monday. During the weekend, people attend the church service, have Easter egg hunt festivities, and receive a chocolate egg. Bilbies are a type of rabbit. These rabbits have long, pointy ears and magnificent fur. People love bilbies in Australia as they think rabbits are pests who steal native animals’ homes in the forests. Treats that Australians savor eating during Easter are the hot cross bun. These delicious sweet treats are generally made with spices, dried fruit, and decorated with a white cross. You can buy chocolate or fruitless hot cross buns.
Easter in Greece is considered to be a very religious time. Eggs are mostly painted in red to represent the blood of Christ. Traditionally, when people in Greece meet each other, they knock their eggs together and loudly say ‘Christos anesti!’ which means ‘Christ is risen!’
Germany has different Easter traditions. Easter Sunday is called ‘Family Day.’ Families eat a lot of sweet treats which include a cake shaped like a lamb, and they play a family game with eggs and cookies and these are hidden in the garden. Germans also have an ‘Easter Fire’ celebration in which they burn the Christmas trees to symbolize the culmination of winter and start of spring. It is a tradition to have an egg tree in Germany. Real eggs are beautifully painted and hung from branches of a tree or put in a vase or jar inside their homes.
In Hungary, Easter is celebrated by baking of delicious pastries and cakes. The painting of hardboiled eggs is made. People in the northeast of Hungary celebrate Easter by girls and boys wearing traditional Easter dresses. The girls go down the street, and the boys are supposed to throw buckets of cold water on girls. Afterward, the girls give the boys coins or Easter eggs, which are painted with different colorful flowers.
Like many countries, Russia also decorates eggs during Easter. During the 19th century, Russia has taken this to a whole new level of celebration and extravagance. Tsar Alexander III, as the folklore says, asked a jeweler named Peter Carl Fabergé to make an Imperial Easter Egg, which will make a gift for the Empress every Easter. Each egg was decorated from precious stones and metals like gold, silver, pearls, rubies, and diamonds. These Easter eggs took a full year to make and design. When the eggs were opened, it had a surprise like a beautiful pendant or golden hen or portrait.
In Norway, it is a popular trend to read a detective or crime novel during the Long Easter weekend. Eggs are generally ‘blown’ to flush out the egg white and yolk and before painting them. Each end of the egg is gently pricked, and then air is blown from one end so that the yolk and white flush out of the other. The hollow eggshells, so created, are then painted beautifully.
It is firmly believed that the word ‘Easter’ has come from ‘Eostre, sometimes called ‘Eostre,’ who is considered the Anglo-Saxon goddess of sunrise and spring. It is known to have festivities and big feasts which is held in her honour during Mid-April.
The cross on hot cross buns remind us of Jesus, his crucifixion and resurrection after death.
One of the world’s most giant chocolate on Easter eggs has been measured over 27 feet tall, and it weighed over 4000kgs.
The day before the period of Lent begins, the day is called Shrove Tuesday, at times Pancake Day.
Traditionally, a feast is held on this day to use up all of the food that people would not be purchase to eat during Lent and can get wasted. Pancakes were a popular recipe to get rid of eggs and milk.