The Significance of Easter

Easter celebrates resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It is also known as Pasch, or Resurrection Sunday.

According to the New Testament, the resurrection occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion by Romans. It is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.

Easter takes place on a Sunday, after the 40-day period called Lent. Lent is referred to as a time of fasting, but participants focus more on giving up one significant indulgence. Holy Week is celebrated during the week leading up to Easter. It begins on Palm Sunday, continues on to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and then finally, Easter Sunday.

The name Easter is said to be derived from the Anglo-Saxon goddess of light and the dawn known as Eostre or Eastre, who was honoured at pagan festivals celebrating the arrival of spring.

Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny are the two symbols of Easter. Both the egg and hare (actually an egg-laying rabbit according to folklore) symbolize fertility and therefore, life itself. In the olden days, dyed chicken eggs were used, but have been substituted by eggs made from chocolate in the modern times.

Easter is not celebrated on a specific day. It usually falls between March 22nd and April 25th. It is supposed to fall on the first Sunday after the full moon following March 21st.

Interesting Easter Facts:

      In medieval times, churches held an egg throwing festival. The game would start with the priest throwing a hard-boiled egg to one of the choirboys, which would then be tossed from one choirboy to the next. The person who was in possession of the egg when the clock struck 12 would be declared the winner and could keep the egg.
      The custom of giving eggs at Easter started with Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks and Romans, for whom the egg was a symbol of life.
      Decorating Easter eggs was traditionally a symbol of the empty tomb. This tradition is called Pysanka. Christians believe that Easter eggs symbolize new life and resurrection.
      Lilies are a flower often associated with Easter (Easter Lilies).
      Wearing new clothing on Easter is said to bring good luck for the coming year.
      In some European countries Easter fires are lit. They are said to represent fertility.
      The Easter egg hunt is an outdoor game played with decorated eggs, real hard-boiled ones or artificial, filled with or made of chocolate candies. They are then  hidden in various places for children to find.

Easter is a time for fun, Easter is a time for happiness, Easter is a time for blessings, and Easter is all about love and hope.

Mount Litera Zee School wishes you and your family a Happy Easter!