Easter is one of many religious holidays celebrated all around the world. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and as well fertility. This holiday is also referred to as a “movable feast”, since there isn’t a fixed date for when it is celebrated. However, it falls between specific ranges of time. The Western celebrates Easter on the first Sunday after the full moon after the vernal equinox, which is on March 21. Easter lies anywhere starting of on March 22 and April 25. Furthermore, Orthodox Christians celebrates Easter a week or two weeks after it is celebrated by the Western Churches, but sometimes Easter is celebrated on the same da since its date is not fixed.
The origin of the word ”Easter” is indefinite, however, there are have been several stories that justifies its meaning or its existence. Initially, it is believed that the word “Easter” is derived from the word “Eostre”, which was the Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. Explaining why sometimes Easter is not only referred to as the resurrection of Jesus, but fertility as well. The second perspective believed that the word was derived from the Latin term “hebdomada alba”, which refers back to the white week. On which people who were baptized during that time wore white clothes. Later on it was discovered that there were an inaccuracy in the translation and the correct term was derived from the Old High German “esostarum”, ultimately it was then called “Easter” in English. In addition Easter in Spanish is called “Pascua” and in French it is called “Paques”, both are derived from the Greek and Latin term Pascha. Pascha means Passover and Jesus Christ’s resurrection happened after he traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.
Mardi Gras or the Fat Tuesday is the day before the Lent period, on that day Christians eat as many food as they want and all types of food, before they fast. The fasting period is called Lent, which is composed of 40 days in which the Christians fast; those 40 days represent the days Jesus spent alone in wilderness. The last week in the 40-day period is the Holy Week, which has Maundy Thursday that honors the last supper Jesus spent with his disciples, then Good Friday honoring the day in which Jesus was crucified, and lastly Holy Saturday is the period of transition between the crucifixion and resurrection. After the period of penance, Easter comes! Subsequently comes a period of 50 days called Eastertide, which honors the time in which Jesus arise to heaven.
Easter is celebrated differently all around the word depending on the differences in cultures and traditions. One of the most common one is having chocolate eggs and chocolate bunnies. The eggs in fact symbolize a new life or a new start, more than 90 million of Easter bunnies are created annually. In Poland for instance there is a tradition that takes place that is called “Smingus-Dyngus”, in which a woman wears her traditional clothes and then she is soaked in water, it is believed that she will be married in a year. Lastly here in Egypt it is traditional and almost all Egyptians eat on Easter herring. Celebrate the way you want, either by eating chocolate eggs, egg hunting, egg painting, or even eating herring. Happy Easter Everyone!!
By Nada Sorour
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