- April 16 - 2017
is celebrated as the religious holiday
by Christians all over the world, commemorating
the resurrection of Jesus
Son of God.
the celebrations of Easter have many customs
and legends that are pagan in origin and
have nothing to do with Christianity.
accepting the derivation proposed by the
8th-century English scholar St. Bede,
believe the name Easter is thought to
come from the Scandinavian "Ostra"
and the Teutonic "Ostern" or
"Eastre," both Goddesses of
mythology signifying spring and fertility
whose festival was celebrated on the day
of the vernal equinox.
associated with the festival survive
in the Easter
a symbol of fertility, and in colored
originally painted with bright colors
to represent the sunlight of spring,
and used in Easter-egg rolling contests
or given as gifts.
The Christian celebration of Easter
embodies a number of converging traditions
with emphasis on the relation of Easter
to the Jewish festival of Passover,
or Pesach, from which is derived
Pasch, another name used by Europeans
for Easter. Passover is an important
feast in the Jewish calendar which is
celebrated for 8 days and commemorates
the flight and freedom of the Israelites
from slavery in Egypt.
Christians, many of whom were of Jewish
origin, were brought up in the Hebrew
tradition and regarded Easter as a new
feature of the Passover
festival, a commemoration of the
advent of the Messiah
as foretold by the prophets. Easter
is observed by the churches of the West
on the first Sunday following the full
moon that occurs on or following the
spring equinox (March 2I). So Easter
became a "movable" feast which
can occur as early as March 22 or as
late as April 25.
churches in the East which were closer
to the birth place of the new religion
and in which old traditions were strong,
observe Easter according to the date
of the Passover festival.
is at the end of the Lenten season,
which covers a forty-six-day
period that begins on Ash Wednesday
and ends with Easter. The Lenten
season itself comprises forty days,
as the six Sundays in Lent are not actually
a part of Lent. Sundays are considered
a commemoration of Easter Sunday and
have always been excluded from the Lenten
fast. The Lenten season is a period
of penitence in preparation for the
highest festival of the church year,
Holy Week, the last week of Lent, begins
its with the observance of Palm
Sunday. Palm Sunday takes its
name from Jesus'
triumphal entry into Jerusalem
where the crowds laid palms at his feet.
customs and traditions of using eggs have
been associated with Easter for centuries.
Originally Easter eggs were painted with
bright colors to represent the sunlight
of spring and were used in Easter-egg
rolling contests or given as gifts. After
they were colored and etched with various
designs the eggs were exchanged by lovers
and romantic admirers, much the same as
valentines. In medieval time eggs were
traditionally given at Easter to the servants.
In Germany eggs were given to children
along with other Easter gifts.
cultures have developed their own ways
of decorating Easter eggs. Crimson eggs,
to honor the blood of Christ, are exchanged
in Greece. In parts of Germany and Austria
green eggs are used on Maundy
Thursday (Holy Thursday). Slavic
peoples decorate their eggs in special
patterns of gold and silver.
artists design patterns by fastening ferns and
tiny plants around the eggs, which are
then boiled. The plants are then removed revealing
a striking white pattern. The Poles and
Ukrainians decorate eggs with simple designs
and colors. A number of eggs are made in the
distinctive manner called pysanki (to design,
eggs are a masterpiece of skill and workmanship.
Melted beeswax is applied to the fresh
white egg. It is then dipped in successive baths
of dye. After each dip wax is painted over
the area where the preceding color is to remain.
Eventually a complex pattern of lines and
colors emerges into a work of art In
Germany and other countries eggs used for cooking
where not broken, but the contents were removed
by piercing the end of each egg with a needle
and blowing the contents into a bowl.
hollow eggs were dyed and hung from shrubs and
trees during the Easter Week. The Armenians
would decorate hollow eggs with pictures of
Christ, the Virgin Mary, and other religious
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