How do Christians Celebrate Easter Sunday?
Importance of Easter
Easter is one of the most joyous holidays in the Christian calendar. For Christians, the celebrations start with Mass on Easter Sunday or the night before, called the Easter Vigil. All over the world, people celebrate Easter according to their beliefs and their religious values. Christians honor the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. On Easter morning, the tomb is opened and the light inside is turned on or the candle is lit to symbolize the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Often flowers are placed over and around the rocks to symbolize the new life that has sprung from death.
Christians believe that Jesus came back to life, or was raised from the dead, three days after his death on the cross. The death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion is observed on Good Friday and the commencing Sunday, the third day of the death of Jesus Christ, is celebrated as Easter Sunday. Through his death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus paid the penalty for sin of the whole world and ensured eternal life in Christ Jesus for the mankind. Easter also marks the end of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, repentance, self-control and spiritual discipline in preparation for Easter
Christians and Easter
Most of the Christians make this holiday an opportunity to meet their relatives and friend. Special Easter delicacies are prepared to mark this special day. They throw in an Easter Party for their near and dear ones. You can also make Easter Baskets for you friends and relatives by placing beautifully colored and designed eggs and chocolate bunnies. You can tuck in some seed packets and potted plants along with them. In several countries, children expect Easter Bunny to leave them basket of candies and decorated eggs hidden all around the house. Neighborhoods and organizations hold Easter egg hunts, and there will be special prizes for children who find out most of the eggs.
There are certain traditional beliefs and legends associated with Easter eggs and rabbits. Easter egg and Easter rabbit represented ‘fertility’ and renewal of life which were symbols of the Norse Goddess Ostara . Ancient Egyptians and Persians too had the custom of coloring and eating eggs during their spring festival. Christian tradition states that Magdalene visited Emperor Tiberias (14 - 37 CE) and she gave him a red egg as a symbol of the Resurrection, from which Christian tradition of giving eggs to each other at Easter time came to being.
History of Easter
In some countries like England, Germany and a few others, children rolled eggs down the hills which represented the rolling away of the rock from Jesus Christ's tomb during his resurrection. Dolly Madison is known as the Queen of Egg Rolling. She was the wife of the fourth American President, who organized an egg roll in Washington, D.C. She invited the children of Washington to roll hard-boiled eggs down the hilly lawn of the new Capitol building! The custom continues even today and on every Easter Monday, the only day of the year when tourists are allowed to wander over the White House lawn, the egg rolling event is open to children of the entire country, twelve years and below under the sponsorship of The First Lady.
American custom of Easter parades, started with Americans traditionally wearing new clothes to Easter ceremonies at church after which they went for walk around the town. Perhaps the most famous is along Fifth Avenue in New York City. Mardi Gras parade held in North America is also quite famous, where people with special costumes can be spotted.
With various kinds of celebrations, decorated eggs, flowers, delicious food, parades etc., Easter is a time to enjoy with your near and dear ones, not only for Christians but for people all over the world, irrespective of any religion.
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