Easter is one of the most important and popular Christian holidays observed in the modern Christian churches. It is celebrated to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, three days after he was tortured to death.
Easter falls on the last day of the lent season. Lent season is a long period of celebrations that starts from Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter.
The occasion is celebrated by young and old, rich and poor, man and woman and people of all races alike. The origin of Easter dates back to the beginning of Christianity. It is probably the oldest Christian observance, after the Sabbath (originally observed on Saturday, later on Sunday). Later, the Sabbath subsequently came to be regarded as the weekly celebration of the Resurrection. A convergence of three traditions – Pagan, Hebrew and Christian can be seen in many of the traditions and observances.
Most of us are not aware that Easter is also the name of an ancient Saxon festival, Eastre. Eastre is the pagan goddess of spring and offspring. The ancient Saxons used to celebrate the return of spring with a hilarious festival, commemorating their goddess of offspring and of springtime, Eastre.
Today, Easter bunnies, lilies and eggs form an important part of the Easter celebrations all across the world. Of old traditions, Easter coincides with the Jewish Passover, a Hebrew celebration, also known as Pesach. Thus, Europeans also apply ‘Pasch’ to derive another name for Easter. Passover is celebrated to mark the freedom of the Israelis from bondage and slavery after over 300 years. And it was during Passover in 30 A.D. that Jesus was crucified for blasphemous.
Unlike modern-day, Easter celebrations did not always follow a specific calendar. This Pagan festival was changed from a celebration of the spring to a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus by the Christian church. It was only after 325 A.D. that the observance of Easter was set after the first full moon, following the equinox. In the West, Easter is observed by the churches on the first Sunday following the full moon that falls on or after the Spring equinox or 21st of March every year.
Thus, Easter is celebrated on different dates every year that usually fall between March 22nd and April 25th. Prior to this time, early Christian churches observed Easter at various dates during the spring. This was due, in part, to the Jewish festival of Passover, which was also observed at the same time of year.
Thus, Easter is a festival that denotes life, rejuvenation, renewal, rebirth and restoration of all beings on Earth.