Easter, a festival which is richly celebrated by Christians to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ has arrived. The festival of Easter marks and celebrates the resurrection of Jesus and is considered as a rebirth of Christianity.
When death and resurrection mix with magical bunnies and chocolate eggs, you get Easter — perhaps the most misunderstood Christian holy day. Yet it is also the most essential; without this holiday, the Christian faith would be meaningless.
The earliest references of the celebration of this festival date back to the 2nd century. In ancient history, many controversies arose regarding the celebration of this festival. The first evidence of controversy surrounding the festival dates back to 2nd century, when Bishop Victor tried to punish bishops of Asia for celebration of the festival. The controversy was largely pertaining to the dates of the festival and the rights of celebrating the festival.
Though the date of the highly celebrated holy festival is not fixed, it is usually celebrated on the first Sunday of a full moon day after March 21. It usually falls between the dates of March 21 and April 25.
As far as holidays go, Easter might not be as popular as Christmas or Halloween, but it still has traditions and treats that can raise anyone’s spirit, mood or blood sugar level. The most interesting part of this annual celebration of Spring and rebirth is the supposed difference in the ways they are celebrated.
With festivals come myths and myths about Easter abound, for believers and nonbelievers alike, so let’s dispense with some of the most common ones.
Some Easter traditions connect the festivals name Easter with Ishtar which is the name of the Babylonian and Assyrian goddess of love and fertility. Some also link the name with Eostre who was an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. The Christian holiday is usually modeled after pagan celebrations of spring and fertility. However, its traditions also closely mimic Passover, and the last supper is believed by some to be a Passover Seder. European names still use this root for what they call Easter; in Spanish it is Pasqua, the French call it Paques, and the Italian name is Pasqua.
It is believed that on the Easter Sunday, several of the disciples of Jesus back then discovered that the tomb in which Jesus’s body had been laid was empty. Later that same day, and in the coming days and weeks, more of the disciples encountered Jesus, who had risen from the dead. But almost immediately, others rebutted their reports. At first, stories circulated about Jesus’s body being stolen by his sneaky disciples. Later, others contended that another person was substituted for Jesus at the crucifixion — or that He was not dead, but simply drugged into a stupor and then surreptitiously revived.
Today, a different kind of myth is circulating, sometimes set forth by well-meaning Christians: Jesus didn’t literally rise from the dead, and it doesn’t matter that He didn’t. In this formulation, the “Resurrection” was nothing more than the disciples remembering what Jesus had said and done during his life, and letting those memories embolden them to carry on his mission.
Many people get easily annoyed by the creeping commercialism of Easter which revolves around baskets stuffed with video games, Cadbury chocolates and marshmallow Peeps — lump Easter eggs with the general secularization of the holiday.
But all of it is not commercialism. Easter eggs are an ancient means of representing religious beliefs. It is said that the custom of Easter eggs originated in Mesopotamia with early Christians — who stained eggs red to commemorate the shedding of Christ’s blood — or it began as a symbol of rebirth. Many people also link eggs with the practice to parallels between a hatching bird leaving behind an empty shell and a risen Christ leaving behind the empty tomb. The consumption of eggs on Easter Sunday may also be linked to the conclusion of Lent, a time when, in addition to meat, some Christian cultures avoided eggs and dairy.
Despite the candy industry’s attempt to bury Easter under boatloads of chocolate and caramel, many Christians, most notably those from the Eastern Orthodox tradition, still decorate their eggs with religious symbols. Filled with chocolate or not, eggs are heavy with meaning on Easter.
I hope this article was informative enough to provide you with the meaning and significance of this holy festival.