Every year people around the world gather together to celebrate Easter. Easter is seen as the most important time in the “Christian” calendar.
It forms part of “Holy week” which consists of Palm Sunday – the week before Easter Sunday, Good Thursday – the day of Jesus’ Last Supper, Good Friday – the day Jesus was killed and Easter Sunday the day he “rose from the dead.”
For many, it is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary.
While in some countries, it is seen as a time to hunt for coloured eggs and eat with family.
However, there are hidden facts about this celebration that many do not know.
Origin of Easter: There are debates about the origin of Easter celebration. Some scholars argued that the name Easter comes from a pagan figure called Eastre (or Eostre) that was celebrated as the goddess of spring by the Saxons of Northern Europe. The Anglo-Saxon goddess symbolizes the hare and the egg.
The exchange or giving of Easter eggs actually dates back to before Easter and the giving of eggs is actually considered a symbol of rebirth in many cultures.
Eggs: It is the unofficial symbol of Easter, often seen as an ancient symbol of fertility, and it is considered to bring new life and rebirth.
While celebrating Easter, the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians exchanged coloured eggs, usually red, in honour of spring. The Greeks and Romans adopted the custom, enlarging the colour board. In other parts of the world, eggs were forbidden during Lent. This made eggs very popular at Easter.
Note: The tallest Easter egg chocolate was made in Italy in 2011. It stood at 34 feet tall and weighed over 7 tons.
Easter Bunny: The Easter bunny is believed to have originated in Europe where it was actually the Easter Hare.
Other Easter traditions include wearing Easter bonnets, making Easter baskets and having Easter egg hunts.
Dates: The date of Easter varies each year as it is based on the lunar/Julian calendar and the position of the moon. Easter is celebrated on the Sunday after the full moon.
Easter symbols: Popular Easter symbols include – Eggs, Rabbits, Easter flowers, Baskets, Nests, springtime et al.