How much do you know about Easter?
Easter is the most important Christian festival. Christians are followers of Jesus Christ who lived about 2000 years ago in a country called Palestine. They believe that Jesus was the son of God. In Christian countries Easter is celebrated as the religious holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the son of God.
The Christian celebration of Easter embodies a number of converging traditions with emphasis on the relation of Easter to the Jewish festival of Passover, or Pesach, from which is derived Pasch, another name used by Europeans for Easter. Passover is an important feast in the Jewish calendar which is celebrated for 8 days and commemorates the flight and freedom of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt
The early Christians, many of whom were of Jewish origin, were brought up in the Hebrew tradition and regarded Easter as a new feature of the Passover festival, a commemoration of the advent of the Messiah as foretold by the prophets.
How did Easter get its name?
One belief is that Easter got its name from the Goddess of Spring called Eostre who some people worshipped long before Jesus was born. At that time it was thought that the sun died in winter and was born again in spring when days would lengthen and the sunâ€™s power would return. In Europe, Eostre was honoured as the bringer of spring.
When and how long is Easter?
Easter Day is always on a Sunday, but the date varies from year to year unlike Christmas which is always on December 25. Many years ago Christians decided that Easter Day should be always be on the Sunday following the first full moon that occurs on or following the spring equinox (March 2I). This means that Easter can be as early as 22 March or as late as 25 April. For this reason Easter is called a movable feast.
Holy Week, the last week of Lent, begins with the observance of Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday takes its name from Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem where the crowds laid palms at his feet. Holy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper, which was held the evening before the Crucifixion. Friday in Holy Week is the anniversary of the Crufixion, the day that Christ was crucified and died on the cross.Holy week and the Lenten season end with Easter Sunday, the day of resurrection of Jesus Christ.