• Chantal Porter

What You Don't Know About Easter- Secrets Revealed

There are many different stories surrounding the origin of Easter. It is said to have a mixture of pagan and Christian origins. Many people believe that Easter is outside the scope of Christianity and should not be celebrated by Christians. Nevertheless, Easter is one of the most important Christian holidays.

The Origins of Easter (Christian perspective)

In Christianity, Easter is a time of reverence and celebration as it represents the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is believed that Jesus' crucifixion took place on Good Friday and the resurrection occurred three days later. The event is said to have taken place during the time of the Jewish Passover. As a result, the yearly Easter Celebration is held around that time. Christians around the world engage in periods of prayer and fasting in accordance with Lent leading up to Easter.

When is Easter?

Easter does not hold a specific date in the year, unlike Christmas which is celebrated on the 25th of December. Easter usually falls anywhere between March 22 and April 25.

How is Easter determined?

According to timeanddate.com "Easter falls on the first Sunday after the Full Moon date, based on mathematical calculations, that falls on or after March 21. If the Full Moon is on a Sunday, Easter is celebrated on the following Sunday."

When is Easter Sunday 2019?

Easter Sunday will be on April 21 this year.

What is Lent?

Traditionally the precursor to Easter is observed as a solemn period, known as Lent. Lent represents the 40 days and 40 nights that Jesus spent in the wilderness being tempted by the devil. During this time, Christians engage in fasting, prayer and also make other dietary changes such as removing meat.

For other less traditional Christians, lent is often celebrated by giving up a luxury item. For example a favorite food, a game or television. This is done to ensure that they are more focused on the actual reason for the Easter celebration and signifies the ideology of sacrifice.

Easter in Jamaica

Easter is almost here, and in true Jamaican fashion, Easter buns are in session. Growing up I never had a full understanding of Easter until I started high school. Each year I would get excited when my mother or grandmother purchased bun and cheese for the family. I would anticipate eating slices of bun and cheese at different family members houses for approximately one month. By the time Easter passed, I would usually be tired of being offered the same meal.

In essence, all Easter meant to me for a while was a time in which everyone ate bun and cheese. Over time however I have grown to understand and appreciate the Christian perspective of the Easter Season. This is celebrated by a majority of Jamaicans today, both Christian and Non-Christians. People opt to give up something during the season and use it as a time to reflect and reconnect.

The Easter Bunny/ Why is Easter called Easter?

In other parts of the world, Easter is celebrated with stories of the Easter Bunny and the Easter egg. The Easter Bunny is a folklore tale started by German Lutherans. For many Westerners, Easter is incomplete without this legendary character. Children eagerly head out to fill up their Easter baskets with brightly colored Easter painted. The Easter bunny holds a special place in their hearts next to the revered Santa Clause.

According to the Seeker, the Easter Bunny can be traced back to 13th century before Christianity began in Germany. During that time people believed in a deity that represented the Spring Equinox known as Eostra and she was represented by a rabbit. After Christianity was developed it is believed that a merger happened between the Christian perspective and the pagan perspective. This merger gave birth to the Easter Bunny folklore and the Christian symbolism that is associated with Easter eggs. Furthermore, the name Easter is also observed as a derivative of the Spring deity Eostra.

Easter Eggs

The Easter holiday is a global phenomenon with multiple dimensions, and it is celebrated by Christians and Non-Christians alike.

"I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples." —Mother Teresa

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