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The Saber

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The Saber

The Meaning of Easter

The true meaning of Easter, along with many common Easter traditions.

What is Easter?

Easter is a Christian holiday celebrated to honor the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his Crucifixion. Because of this, Easter symbolizes resurrection and rebirth, as it is believed that Jesus will have his second coming on Easter.

A common tradition associated with Easter is Lent, which is a 40-day long session of fasting, praying, and sacrifice. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, and excludes every Sunday, and ends during Holy Week. This week includes: Palm Sunday, or the Sunday before Easter, and it commemorates Jesus’s arrival in Jerusalem, Holy/Maundy Thursday, Jesus’ last supper with the 12 apostles, Good Friday, or the Crucifixion, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday.

Easter is associated with the Jewish holiday known as Passover, which celebrates the Hebrews’ escape from slavery in Egypt. 


When is Easter?

This year Easter falls on March 31, however, this date can change yearly and always falls between March 22nd and April 25th. Easter occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring equinox.

Common Traditions

Commonly people eat lamb on Easter, as it was used as a sacrificial animal in ancient Israel. This is also done because of Bible verse John 1:29, where it says “Behold the lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world.” The lamb is placed under an altar, blessed, and then eaten.

Egg painting is a common tradition where people paint/dye hardboiled eggs. It was started in the 13th century. The eggs became a symbol of resurrection because they were not allowed to be eaten during Holy Week, but were still laid, these eggs were deemed Holy Week eggs and painted. They also symbolize new life from a shell, and in Orthodox Easter traditions are painted red to symbolize the blood of Jesus while he was on the cross. Easter egg hunts started around this time and began as Egg Rolls on the lawn of the white house with parents and children participating. In Pagan traditions, the egg represents fertility and birth.

Protestant Christians started the tradition of the Easter Bunny during the 17th century by being associated with Easter. It was believed that the Easter bunny could lay eggs that it would decorate and hide, as well as it would leave baskets of goodies for children. Many other countries have their different ideas of an Easter creature, if any. In Switzerland, they have an Easter Cuckoo.


Background Information

The first known celebration of Easter was in the 2nd century. 

In Asia Minor, the Crucifixion of Jesus is celebrated on the 14th of the first full moon of Spring. The resurrection takes place two days later. In the West, the resurrection always takes place on a Sunday. 

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