When is Easter?
Easter is usually celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon, after the equinox in the spring.
According to the Bible, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ occurred around the Jewish Passover holiday, celebrated on the first full moon following the spring equinox. This led to Christians celebrating Easter on different dates each year.
For Western churches, the earliest Easter can fall is March 22, and the last one is April 25.
Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian calendar. Because of the 13-day difference between the calendars, March 21 corresponds to April 3 in the Gregorian calendar. Easter, therefore, varies from April 4 to May 8 in the Gregorian calendar.
Easter 2019: This year, on the Gregorian calendar, Easter will fall on Sunday, April 1, and on the Julian calendar, it will fall on Sunday, April 8.
Christians celebrate Easter on Sunday as it was the day Jesus rose from the dead, having been crucified on Friday two days before.
Holy Week in Christianity is the week just before Easter and includes the Palm Sunday, the Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
Sunday in the palm: This marks Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as palm branches were laid in his path before his arrest on Thursday and his crucifixion. This year, it falls on March 25.
Miserable Thursday: It’s the Thursday before Easter. Christians remember this on the day of the Last Supper, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and established the ritual known as the Eucharist. Thursday night is the night when Jesus was betrayed by his disciple, Judas Iscariot.
Good Friday: March 30th. Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death. It is also known as Holy Friday, Big Friday and Black Friday.
Some sources claim that today is “good” by being holy. Many do not eat meat during Good Friday.
Holy Saturday: This is the day before Easter and the last day of the Holy Week when Christians are preparing for Easter. It marks the day when Jesus’ body lay in the grave.
The first Easter is held on Holy Saturday night. The idea is that people will wait and expect with confidence that Jesus will return at midnight. It was celebrated on March 31.
Why do we have Easter eggs?
Today, many associate Easter with Easter eggs. Egg has many interpretations, but is known as an early symbol of a new life, and has been associated with festivals celebrating spring.
From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are believed to represent the resurrection of Jesus. The outside of the egg looks dead, but inside there is a new life going on.
Orthodox Christians paint red eggs to represent the blood of Christ, according to Anne Jordan’s book Christianity.
The tradition can be traced to the early Christians from Mesopotamia, from where it spread to Russia, and later to Europe through the churches.
Chocolate Easter eggs have become popular because Easter is the end of the Lenten fast.