HAPPY EASTER! – Here’s all the exciting stuff you need to know about this festival
Easter-the second most celebrated Christian festival after Christmas is observed in either March or April. Before throwing light upon the happenings that take place on Easter which is also called Pascha, let us first take a look at the reason behind celebrating this festival.
History behind Easter- Why do we celebrate it?
On the day of Easter, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb that took place three days after he was crucified. This day was the when the prophecy of the Messiah was fulfilled. It shall be noted that this is the same Messiah who would not only be persecuted but die for the sins of his people thereby rising on the third day.
Easter is celebrated in remembrance of the resurrection of Jesus and renews the hope that good deeds always win over sinful acts. Initially, the early Christians celebrated the resurrection every week on Sunday. However, in A.D. 325, the Nicaea Council fixed a special day to remember resurrection. Following this, problems regarding whether the resurrection should be celebrated on a weekday or Sunday occurred.
Due to this, the Council finally decided that Easter should be celebrated on Sunday that comes after the first full moon after vernal equinox. This is primarily the reason behind which Easter is celebrated earlier in some years. Explaining the history of Easter, it has been stressed on how it is closely linked with resurrection thus leaving little or no room for paganism. However, it shall be noted that Easter is one of the celebrations highly associated with pagan ritual.
When is Easter this year?
Easter 2017 would most probably clock in on the 16th of April. Since not much time is left, preparations for the festival have already started. Following are some of the traditions and celebrations that take place on Easter.
While the Bible offers information on the history of Easter, it provides little on the traditions of this festival. The Easter bunny that refers to a long-eared, tiny tailed creature is an interesting feature and has become an important symbol of the most important holiday of Christians.
Although it is unclear where the exact origins of this mammal are, rabbits that are similar to this bunny have been long seen as a symbol of new birth and fertility. Interestingly, some sources revealed that the Easter bunny first arrived in America with some German immigrants in the 17th century. Children of the immigrants created nests where the Easter bunny laid its colored eggs.
Gradually, with the passage of time, the custom was on a widespread across the U.S. While the Easter bunny’s morning deliveries expanded to chocolates and other types of confetti, his nest was replaced by baskets. This also explains how Easter baskets came into existence. In addition to this, on the occasion of Easter, children often lay out carrots on their way for the bunny to eat in case he gets hungry from all the hoping.
Easter Egg Hunt
Being the epitome of Easter celebration, the egg hunt is a game played by children. In this, the decorated Easter eggs are hidden in various places as treasures that are to be found by the children. The types of eggs used in this are usually plastic eggs filled with candy or chocolate, foil wrapped eggs filled with confetti or hard boiled eggs that are painted in vibrant colors. Easter egg hunt is played both outdoors and indoors.
Once the children are done finding eggs and collecting them in their Easter baskets, they are given prizes according to the number or size of eggs they managed to collect. Booby or consolation prizes are also given for encouragement.
It would be interesting to know that the reason behind Easter eggs is that the egg, in pre- Christian time, defined the rebirth of the Earth. The similarity was drawn between the egg symbol and the tomb from which Christ arose and thus, the egg was made as the Easter symbol by early Christians.
An interesting fact that is worth a mention here is that the largest Easter egg ever made was more than 25 feet long having a weight of eight thousand pounds. It was made by marshmallow and chocolate.
With Easter round the corner, it is high time that you start hunting for beautiful and attractive décor. A wide variety of creative and affordable baskets, trees, decorative items, candles, wreaths, and flowers are available in the market so stack your favorites and give your home an Easter-like ambiance. Not only marketplaces, but there are many websites from where you can easily shop online for Easter decorations.
Easter- just like any other festival calls for new dresses to be worn. Since Easter comes in spring, Easter dresses are usually in vibrant colors that are appealing to the eyes. While the little girls are dressed up in cute frocks, the boys go for pleasing attires too. Everyone is in a happy mood on Easter as it is a time for celebration, games and delicious food. In the morning time, men and women dress up in their Easter outfits and head towards the church to offer prayers.
Since candles symbolize life and the eternal light, they are lit on the occasion of Easter in homes and churches. Special sorts of candles such as the Christ candles and Paschal candles are lit to mark the resurrection of Jesus.
Easter dinner- a ritual that marks the end of the festival day and is the most looked forward to, both by kids and the adults. The traditional Easter dinner includes dishes made of ham, lamb or chicken. In almost every Christian household where Easter is celebrated, the table is set serving guests and family with Easter recipes. What makes Easter dinner ultra-special is that it is the time when the whole family sits together to enjoy the mouthwatering delicacies. At the time of the Easter dinner, the whole family shares the ups and downs of their lives while relishing on the savories.
Speaking of Easter dinner, some great Easter dinner ideas could make your Easter all the more memorable:
Ham with apple raisin sauce
The best thing about this delicacy is that it is super easy and fast to make and takes almost zero cleanups. Everything is done right in the bag, so not much clutter takes place. All-purpose flour, apple juice, sugar, and ham are the only ingredients used in the making.
This Easter dinner dish is one that your guests would thank you for. It is a creamy, cheesy delight without any meat ideal for vegans in your family. When served hot, it creates a warm aroma making it a must have on Easter dinner table.
The pleasant flavor of corn makes it an absolute comfort food. It just requires a packaged corn mix and is prepared in less than half an hour.
Not only the dishes, but the table setting is equally crucial in Easter dinner. Get your hands on some nice looking intricately designed cutlery and china that would make your dishes much more presentable.
Other Easter Celebrations
Exchanging jokes and light humor is one of the perfect ways to bring smiles and happiness on the faces of your dear ones. Jokes buoy up the ambiance and what happy day to have fun other than Easter.
Easter day that is celebrated to remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ shall not be limited to prayers, food, and games. To spread more awareness especially among the toddlers as to why Easter is celebrated, Easter quotes should be exchanged among elders in front of them. This would help the children understand the significance of Easter.
Spread the festive cheer and perk up Easter celebration by distributing Easter cards. Send out cards those relatives and friends who are not physically present with you on Easter to express your innermost emotions and show them how much you miss them. Sending out warm greetings via Easter cards is quite a norm in America.