When Easter Sunday is mentioned today, most people think of egg hunts and Easter bunnies. But this is not the real meaning of Easter.
For Christians around the world, Easter is one of their most important holidays. Easter celebrates Jesus's resurrection. For some, Easter is associated with fertility and spring.
The Holy Week
The week before Easter is called Holy Week. It starts with Palm Sunday, commemorating the day of Jesus's arrival in Jerusalem. People who welcomed Jesus and joined the procession carried and waved palm leaves. Maundy Thursday was the day when the Last Supper was held. Good Friday was the day Jesus was crucified. His body was taken from the cross and buried in a cave on the same day. After three days, the body of Jesus disappeared from the well-guarded cave that was closed by a stone door. Easter Sunday was the day Jesus resurrected from the dead.
Easter Sunday – Why is it called such?
For Christians, Easter means the victory of Jesus over death and His resurrection signified eternal life. It verifies everything that Christ taught and preached for three years. Because He died and came back to life, He was not just a teacher but the Son of God.
But this does not explain why resurrection day is called Easter Sunday. Easter came from Ēostre or Ēastre, a pagan Saxon goddess. The feast day of the goddess was a celebration of rebirth and renewal that occurred in early spring. When the Saxons were converted into Christianity, it was merged with the memorial of the resurrection of Jesus, since both celebrations happened around the same time. After some time, the name was retained but the orientation of the holiday switched to Christianity.
Things associated with Easter
While the celebration is closely religious, several Easter symbols still continue to be used today as in the past. These two are the most popular.
1. The (Easter) bunny. The bunny is a representation of Jesus Christ coming out of the tomb when the rabbit comes out of its burrow. The rabbit is also a symbol of spring and fertility.
2. Easter eggs. The egg symbolizes life and rebirth. In the olden days, people brought eggs to church so they could be blessed. Using Easter eggs originated in Mesopotamia. Members of the Christian community stained the eggs in red that symbolized the blood shed by Christ when He was crucified. For Christians, the egg symbolized the empty tomb.
Easter is a religious celebration but it has become commercialized over the years. We hope that you will not forget the religious aspect of the holiday while still enjoying the cute bunnies, chocolates and the colorful Easter eggs filled with goodies.
To all the Christians around the world who celebrate Easter, we join you in your celebration. May Easter give your life new meaning. May it usher in new growth and continuous success. Happy Easter!