What is Easter? Easter is the most important time in the Christian calendar. Easter forms part of Holy week; Holy week consists of Palm Sunday – the week before Easter Sunday, Good Thursday – the day of Jesus’ Last Supper, Good Friday – the day that Jesus was crucified and Easter Sunday the day Jesus rose from the dead.
Why do we celebrate Easter? Christians celebrate the story of Easter and rejoice in the belief that Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected (came back) from death. Jesus was reborn and lives today; he was reborn because God exists and is alive.
Why does the date of Easter vary? The date of Easter varies each year as it is based on the lunar calendar and the position of the moon. Easter is celebrated on the Sunday after the full moon following March 21st.
Good Friday is the day that Jesus died. It is called Good Friday as Jesus died for the good of mankind.
Easter Sunday is the day that Jesus came back to life; it is a day of celebration and the day that we exchange gifts of eggs.
Why do we exchange eggs at Easter time, what do they represent? In Christian faith eggs represent a symbol of new beginnings, new life and renewed faith.
The word Easter dates back to early England; it is thought to relate to the Pagan goddess of spring and fertility Ēostre (also called Ostara).
The act of exchanging gifts of eggs dates back to the time of the Egyptians and Persians! Painted eggs were given as gifts to symbolize fertility and new life.
The Easter Bunny originated in Germany, the idea was taken to America during the 1700s.
In 1879, the tradition of the Easter egg roll on the grounds of the White House began. Arranged by the 19th president of America Rutherford Hayes and his wife Lucy, the tradition is still in practice today and occurs on the Monday after Easter weekend.
Chocolate Easter eggs were not introduced until the early 1900s. Before the exchanging of chocolate eggs, gifts consisted of decorated chicken eggs and stuffed hollow cardboard eggs.
Early chocolate Easter eggs were much smaller and solid, not large and hollow as they usually are today.
Did you know that Pretzels were originally associated with Easter? They are thought to be invented by ancient German monks and were created in a pattern to represent two folding arms in prayer. Some people believe that the pretzel is the world’s oldest snack food!
Different countries celebrate Easter in different ways. In Sweden they do not have an Easter Bunny, they have an Easter Wizard!
Popular Easter symbols include; the Cross, Eggs, Rabbits, Easter flowers, Baskets, Nests, springtime and Simnel cake.