Easter Sunday celebrates the Christian belief
of Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead.
Many Christians celebrate Jesus Christ's resurrection on Easter Sunday. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical appro-ximation of the March equinox.
What do people do?
Many churches hold special services on Easter Sunday, which celebrate the Jesus Christ's resurrection after his crucifixion. Many people also decorate eggs. These can be hard boiled eggs that can be eaten later, but may also be model eggs made of plastic, chocolate, candy or other materials. It is also common to organize Easter egg hunts. Eggs of some form are hidden, supposedly by a rabbit or hare. People, especially children, then search for them. In some areas, Easter egg hunts are a popular way for local businesses to promote themselves or may even be organized by churches.
Easter Sunday is not a federal holiday but a number of stores are closed in many parts of the US and if they are open, they may have limited trading hours. In some cities, public transit systems usually run their regular Sunday schedule, but it is best to check with the local transport authorities if any changes will be implemented during Easter Sunday.
In Pagan times, many groups of people organized spring festivals. Many of these celebrated the re-birth of nature, the return the land to fertility and the birth of many young animals. These are the origins of the Easter eggs that we still hunt for and eat.
In Christian times, the spring began to be associated with Jesus Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. The crucifixion is remembered on Good Friday and the resurrection is remembered on Easter Sunday. The idea of the resurrection joined with the ideas of re-birth in Pagan beliefs.
Christians celebrate Easter Sunday as the day of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, which is written in the New Testament of the Christian bible. According to the Gospel of John in the New Testament, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb where Jesus was buried and found it empty. An angel told her that Jesus had risen. Christians worldwide have celebrated Easter for centuries.
However, the roots of the Easter holiday’s traditions and activities can be traced back to pagan celebrations. The name Easter is believed to come from Eostara, the goddess of rebirth. In early times the Feast of Eostara celebrated earth’s resurrection and rebirth. Strict Puritans would have nothing to do with Easter – it was merely a human institution – in the past. Charles I, king of England, declared the day as scriptural as Sunday in 1647 but Parliament contradicted him in print and abolished it with other church festivals.
The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox. In 325CE the Council of Nicaea decided that the Easter date would be the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the March equinox. Easter is therefore delayed one week if the full moon is on Sunday, which lessens the likelihood of it falling on the same day as the Jewish Passover. Eastern Orthodox churches in many countries such as Greece still figure their Easter date based on the Julian calendar.
For people with strong Christian beliefs, the cross that Jesus was crucified on and his resurrection are important symbols of the period around Easter. Other symbols of Easter include real eggs or eggs manufactured from a range of materials, nests, lambs and rabbits or hares. Sometimes these symbols are combined, for example, in candy models of rabbits with nests full of eggs. Eggs, rabbits, hares and young animals are thought to represent the re-birth and return to fertility of nature in the spring.
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