Easter is a festival celebrated in spring. It´s history goes back to the Celtic times when people celebrated the return of new life as the return of spring. People dyed eggs red. The symbols of Easter were eggs and baby animals. They were also symbols of new life. Later Christians started to celebrate Easter as a remembrance to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Easter has two distinctly different meanings to many people. For Christians, Easter is by far the most religious or sacred holiday of the year.
The Easter period begins 40 days before Easter Sunday. This period is called “Lent“. During it, believers prepare for Easter. Some people give up eating meat, drinking alcohol, or eating chocolate and doing something which they like. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.
During the last week of Lent, during Holy Week, there are four important days – Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The main day of Easter is Easter Sunday.
Palm Sunday is the start of Holy Week. It commemorates the day when Jesus Christ was greeted in Jerusalem with palm leaves that were spread out in front of him.
Maundy Thursday reminds us of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ and his disciples. It was the day before Christ’s crucifixion. On this day, all decorations are removed from altars in churches.
Good Friday is the day when Jesus was crucified. It is the most solemn day of Holy Week. Many Christians eat little or no food on Good Friday.
Holy Saturday is the day of mourning.
Easter Sunday commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ 3 days after his death.
Most people also participate in the secular aspect of Easter. Eggs, rabbits and baby chickens are three symbols of new life. Easter is truly the symbolic beginning of spring.
A symbol of Easter, the Easter Bunny, is believed to bring and hide Easter eggs and other chocolate sweets on Easter Sunday. Eggs are hidden in the grass and trees. It´s up to the children to find as many of them as possible. This Easter egg hunting means a lot of fun both for children and for adults.
In some English speaking countries, there is a special race of celebrating Easter. Elaborately decorated hard boiled eggs are lined up on a small hill and rolled down the hill. The person whose eggs roll the longest without cracking becomes the Easter champion.