What is Easter?
Easter is the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who they believe is the Son of God.
Every year the celebrations begin with Palm Sunday a week before Easter when believers mark Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem where he was greeted like a king. The following week, people commemorate Maundy Thursday which remembers Jesus’ Last Supper with his 12 apostles and the creation of the Eucharist.
According to the Bible, Jesus died on a Friday after Judas Iscariot sold him out to the council of Sanhedrim for 30 pieces of silver. Jesus was taken before Pontius Pilate where an angry mob demanded he was crucified for blasphemy. A crown of thorns was placed on his head, a cross was thrown on his back and he was forced to carry it to his own death.
This is remembered on Good Friday as the Passion of Christ and is a sombre day for Christians.
When Easter Sunday comes around, Jesus is believed to have risen from the grave on the third day of his death. The resurrection of Christ forms the basis of the Christian faith. It reassures believers in the claim that Jesus is the son of God, and the Messiah. Scriptures from the New Testament preach Jesus sacrificed his own life to absolve humanity of its sins. Jesus’ death and resurrection broke the shackles of death and gives devout Christians certainty that they too can live in the afterlife with God.
When is Easter?
Easter’s celebration date changes every year. Easter Sunday 2019 is Sunday 21th April 2019. In 2020, Easter Sunday will fall on 12th April.
What’s with the eggs and bunnies during Easter time?
Nowadays, many people associate Easter with Easter eggs. The egg has many interpretations, but it is known as an ancient symbol of new life, and it has been associated with festivals celebrating spring.
From a Christian perspective, it is believed Easter eggs represent Jesus' resurrection. The outside of the egg looks dead, but inside there is new life, which is going to break out. Orthodox Christians dye boiled eggs red to represent the blood of Christ, according to Anne Jordan's book, Christianity. The tradition can be traced to early Christians of Mesopotamia, and from there it spread into Russia, and later into Europe through the churches.
Over the years the custom evolved and Easter eggs today are dyed in a variety of colours and designs. It has become a favourite pastime enjoyed by children and adults alike.
The Easter bunny on the other hand, has nothing to do with the Christian celebrations of Easter. Rabbits have been known throughout the years as a symbol of fertility and life, which aligns with the Easter themes of death & rebirth. The bunny stems from old folklore tales and is believed to carry a basket full of Easter eggs as it hops around. Eventually, the tale spread throughout many cultures and today the Easter Bunny is popular amongst children and can often be found in the form of a chocolate treat too.