Easter is observed on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox. Considered Christianity’s most important holy day, it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Depending on which calendar a church follows, some will celebrate Easter earlier than others.
Leading up to Easter Sunday is an entire season of Easter observances beginning with Ash Wednesday, the official beginning of Lent. Lent is a time of fasting and reflection which represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness for 40 days. Many know this as a time when Christians give something up for Lent.
Then during Holy Week, the Sunday before Easter is known as Palm Sunday. It commemorates Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem on a donkey just five days before He was crucified. Maundy Thursday remembers Jesus’s last supper; Good Friday is the day of the crucifixion, Holy Saturday is the time span between the crucifixion and the resurrection and Easter Sunday.
HOW TO OBSERVE
If you choose, you can participate in any number of church services. Dye eggs with children and have an Easter egg hunt. Local communities hold annual Easter egg hunts as well, so check your local social media, newspapers and community listings for dates and times. Use #Easter to share on social media.
Before Easter, Passover was the primary holy day celebrated, and it is closely linked with Easter. Jesus’s last supper was a Passover meal. By the 2nd century, Easter (Pascha) was being celebrated alongside Passover as well as pagan spring festivals.
The tradition of an Easter Bunny comes from medieval Germany where the Osterhase or Easter Hare would lay its colorful eggs in nests prepared by children. Immigrants in the 18th-century settling in the Dutch Pennsylvania countryside brought this fable and tradition with them to the United States.
Dying eggs is a tradition that dates back thousands of years across many cultures. Eggs have long been a symbol of rebirth, fertility and life springing forth. Today Easter egg hunts take place across the country, and it is not unusual to see a giant Easter Bunny surrounded by children in their Sunday best getting their pictures taken.
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