What is Easter Sunday? History, Celebrations, Facts and Significance

Easter is celebrated by many Christians around the world with special church services, music, candlelight, flowers, and the ringing of church bells. Some countries, such as the Philippines and Spain, hold Easter processions. Easter sunday is considered by many Christians to be the most important Christian feast of the year. According to Christian doctrine, it is a day of rejoicing and celebration to honor the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

What is Easter Sunday?

Easter is regarded as one of the Christian community's most auspicious days. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is commemorated on this day. Christians remember Jesus Christ's resurrection by celebrating the Easter festival on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring, following the solemn observance of Holy Week, which commemorates the events that led to his arrest and crucifixion in Jerusalem. This means that Easter has no set date and can be celebrated anytime between March 22 and April 25. The festival will be held on April 17 this year.

Celebration and Significance

On Easter Day, many towns and villages in Italy hold religious dramas based on episodes from the Easter story, which are performed in the piazzas. Corona di nove are crown-shaped pastries cooked in the shape of a crown. Capretto (lamb) and agnello (kid/goat) are two other traditional dishes. Easter is celebrated in Poland with family meals of ham, sausages, salads, babka (a Polish cake), and mazurka (sweet cakes packed with nuts, fruit, and honey).

Despite Easter's religious significance, many children in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom associate it with getting new spring clothes, decorating eggs, and participating in Easter egg hunts in which the Easter Bunny hides eggs. Around this time of year, some youngsters receive Easter baskets stuffed with candy, food, and gifts.

In nations such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Easter Sunday falls on a Sunday, which is a non-working day. In countries where Sunday is a non-working day, government offices and schools are closed, and economic activity is limited.

History of Easter Sunday

Many Christians regard Easter Sunday as the day of Jesus Christ's resurrection, as recorded in the Christian bible's New Testament. According to the New Testament's Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene arrived at the tomb where Jesus was buried and discovered it empty. Jesus had risen, according to an angel. Easter has been observed by Christians all around the world for millennia.

The Easter holiday's traditions and festivities, on the other hand, can be traced back to pagan celebrations. Easter is thought to be derived from Eostara, the goddess of rebirth. The Feast of Eostara commemorated the earth's resurrection and regeneration in ancient times. In the past, strict Puritans would have had nothing to do with Easter because it was purely a human institution. The day was declared scriptural as Sunday by Charles I, King of England, in 1647, but Parliament contradicted him in paper and outlawed it along with other church celebrations.

The ecclesiastical estimate of the March equinox determines the Easter date. The Council of Nicaea decreed in 325CE that Easter would be celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon that occurred on or after the March equinox. If the full moon falls on Sunday, Easter is postponed one week, reducing the chances of it coming on the same day as the Jewish Passover. Many Eastern Orthodox churches, such as those in Greece, still use the Julian calendar to determine Easter dates.

Symbols of Easter Sunday

Both Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny are fertility symbols that date back to the Eostara feast. Other symbolic similarities include pagan joy in the rising sun of spring, which relates to Christians' joy in the coming Son of God, and church candle lighting, which equates to pagan bonfires. On Easter Day, the cross symbol and pictures of Jesus Christ are recalled through paintings or statues.

Celebrations for Easter Sunday

In many churches, the day's customary ceremonies begin with the Easter Vigil, a religious ceremony held in the late hours of the day before Easter (Holy Saturday). Easter eggs, as well as associated games such as egg rolling and egg decorating, are other Easter traditions.

In various pre-Christian pagan beliefs, eggs were thought to symbolize fertility and birth. Easter egg decorating may have evolved as a tribute to the theological significance of Easter, namely, Jesus' resurrection or rebirth.

8 Fun Easter Sunday Facts

1. According to many historians, Christians named Easter after Eastre or Eostre, a pagan Anglo-Saxon goddess, in order to encourage conversion. Easter celebrations, like their Christian counterparts, hailed the arrival of spring after a long winter's hibernation.

2. Easter is the most ancient Christian festival.

3. In the Middle Ages, both hares and eggs were symbols of fertility in Germany, and it was during this time that the legend of an egg-laying, candy-giving rabbit was born. The Easter Bunny didn't become a popular tradition in America until the 1700s when the first German immigrants arrived.

4. While the tradition of dying eggs for Easter may have started as a religious activity, the custom of decorating those eggs dates back thousands of years to a Ukrainian craft. The eggs, known as pysankas, are carefully made with wax and pigments, a technique brought to the United States by Ukrainian immigrants.

5. Since 1878, the President of the United States and their families have participated in "The White House Easter Egg Roll."

6. During the week leading up to Easter, Holy Week is commemorated. Palm Sunday is the beginning, followed by Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and eventually Easter Sunday.

7. Natural things such as onion peels, tree bark, flower petals, and fluids were previously used to make egg colors.

8. Eggs have long been thought to be a symbol of fertility, and springtime is associated with fresh life and rebirth.

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