There are many people these days who do not know the real reason behind Easter. To them, it is another day for a celebration another excuse for a holiday. Today’s children are not taught the true meaning of Easter and the reason for the religious side of it.
It is said, that Jesus rose from the dead three days after his crucifixion. This is the day of resurrection celebrated by all Christians as Easter and is the most important annual festival for them.
According to the Christian faith, Jesus died to save the world his sinless blood that was shed on the cross was to redeem man and restore his fallen position.
Good Friday is the day when Jesus was crucified and his sacrifice is the day He suffered for man. Sunday is the day of Christ’s resurrection from the dead, with Monday being just a bank holiday and having no religious meaning.
Many years ago, Easter was also called Pascha and was taken from Eastre the Saxon goddess of Spring with Saxons holding festivals every year to celebrate the Spring Equinox. These festivals were celebrated to ensure fertility both in the land and people. When the Saxons converted to Christianity, their celebrated name became Easter.
In brief, the Christian Easter occurs as follows: the first Sunday after the full moon that follows the Spring Equinox (according to the Gregorian calendar). Except for the Orthodox Church that still refers to the Julian Calendar (13 days behind the Gregorian calendar), thus making Easter a movable holiday that oscillates between March 22nd and April 25th.
For many centuries, the religious Easter season has been used for family gatherings and the giving of gifts and cards.
Eggs have been used in celebrations, long before today, with the Egyptians and ancient Persians dying eggs with the colors of spring and giving them to relatives as eggs were considered as symbols of rebirth.
Christians later hid eggs in public places to be found and eaten by the finders. This was the start of the now known Easter Egg Hunt.
Later, another custom at the end of the Easter Mass, Kings distributed eggs, mostly made in luxurious materials, painted or engraved to the noble courts. The most famous of these being the Faberge eggs which were encrusted with jewels. The tradition of Easter eggs is not just commercial although retailers have used this to their advantage, it is all about religious tradition.
Eggs come from chickens, so decorated or not it is an essential Easter symbol as eggs produce life and many countries have chicks made from chocolate. Depending on the country, the Easter chick is replaced by chicks, cock, stork, cuckoo etc.
The rabbit is not the first animal that was introduced to Easter it was in fact the hare. The hare symbolizes abundance, proliferation and renewal and was regarded as very prolific, and was a symbol of life and fertility.
The rabbit was the symbol of Eastre the Saxon Goddess, introduced by Germany over six centuries a go and today the eggs, rabbit and chocolate are closely linked.
Fundamentally, however, the festival was a timeless celebration of the triumph of the light, with the expansive forces gaining ascendancy after the Spring Equinox on March 21, to wax in strength until the Summer Solstice, June 21. Like all religious festivals, worldwide, it has an astronomical base and also signifies the redistribution of the telluric energy along the deep energy matrix of the planet (Editor).
Reporter: Patty Brown