Easter, also called Pascha or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion by Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD.
The New Testament states that the resurrection of Jesus, which Easter celebrates, is a foundation of the Christian faith. The resurrection established Jesus as the powerful Son of God and is cited as proof that God will judge the world in righteousness. For those who trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection, “death is swallowed up in the victory.”
Any person who chooses to follow Jesus receives “a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”.
Easter is linked to the Passover and Exodus from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament through the Last Supper, sufferings and crucifixion of Jesus that preceded the resurrection.
According to the New Testament, Jesus gave the Passover meal a new meaning, as in the upper room during the Last Supper he prepared himself and his disciples for his death. He identified the matzah and cup of wine as his body soon to be sacrificed and his blood soon to be shed.
Paul states, “Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed”.
The history of Easter reveals rich associations between the Christian faith and the seemingly unrelated practices of the early pagan religions. Easter history and traditions that we practice today evolved from pagan symbols, from the ancient goddess Ishtar to Easter eggs and the Easter bunny.
Easter, perhaps the most important of the Christian holidays, celebrates Christ’s resurrection from the dead following his death on Good Friday. . . a rebirth that is commemorated around the vernal equinox, historically a time of pagan celebration that coincides with the arrival of spring and symbolizes the arrival of light and the awakening of life around us.
Easter eggs are specially decorated eggs given out to celebrate the Easter festival. The custom of the Easter egg originated in the early Christian community of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ, shed at his crucifixion.
As such, for Christians, the Easter egg is a symbol of the empty tomb. The oldest tradition is to use dyed chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute eggs made from chocolate, or plastic eggs filled with candy such as jellybeans.
- Easter is not fixed to 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.
- The man who betrayed Jesus Christ, which led to his crucifixion was Judas Iscariot.
- When Jesus was resurrected it proved he was the Son of God. Jesus’ death was symbolic in that he was dying for our sins.
- The wine during communion symbolizes Jesus’ blood. The bread during communion symbolizes His body.
- 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.
- The first Easter baskets looked like bird’s nests.
- Eggs were a symbol of life to Ancient Egyptians, Persians, Romans, and Greeks. The custom of giving eggs at Easter originated with them.
- During Lent, people did not wear fine angels; instead, they wore Easter bonnets.
- The White House holds an annual Easter egg hunt on the front lawn. This tradition began in 1878 with President Rutherford B. Hayes.
- In 1981 the White House began to use wooden Easter eggs so they could be kept as keepsakes.
Easter Facts History
- Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Christian religion.
- Eggs have been seen as ancient symbol of fertility, while springtime is considered to bring new life and rebirth.
- Americans spend $1.9 billion on Easter candy. That’s the second biggest candy holiday after Halloween.
- 70% of Easter candy purchased is chocolate.
- 76% of Americans think the ears of a chocolate bunny should be the first to be eaten.
- Egg dyes were once made out of natural items such as onion peels, tree bark, flower petals, and juices.
- There’s much debate about the practice of dyeing chicks. Many hatcheries no longer participate, but others say that it isn’t dangerous to the chick’s health because the dye only lasts until the chicks shed their fluff and grow their feathers.
- The first story of a rabbit (later named the “Easter Bunny”) hiding eggs in a garden was published in 1680.
- 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 the 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 White House Easter Egg Roll” event has been celebrated by the President of the United States and their families since 1878.
Easter Monday is a Christian holiday celebrated the day after Easter Sunday.
Formerly, it was celebrated as Easter Week in many places but was reduced to a one-day celebration in the 19th century.
It is an official holiday in many countries, plus North Carolina in the USA.
Easter (also called Pascha) is generally accounted the most important holiday of the Christian year, observed in March or April each year to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead after his death by crucifixion, which Christians believe happened at about this time of year, almost two thousand years ago.