Easter – A Time For Celebration and a Time For Reflection

Easter is the time of year when all Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ after he was crucified on the cross. It is probably the most celebrated occasion in the Christian calendar. It is even more important than Christmas itself.

Easter itself is the culmination of forty days in which time Christians pray, fast and reflect. That time is called Lent. The forty days are said to represent the forty days that Jesus was out in the wilderness alone and where he overcame many temptations of the devil.

The week before Easter itself is the Holy Week. Thursday is known as Maundy Thursday and is the day Jesus had the last supper with his disciples then Good Friday is the day Jesus was crucified. As we all know Easter Sunday is the day in which we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and should not be forgotten when we celebrate Easter.

Christian Church

The Christian church was looking for a time to hold a celebration for the resurrection of Christ and changed the pagan celebration of Eostre into their own celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. They also changed the day on which the celebration took place and decreed that the new date was after the first Sunday after the full moon on or after the Vernal Equinox. This also meant that the date changed from year to year and is now celebrated between the 22nd March or in some cases as late as the 25th April.

Many centuries before Jesus was resurrected from the cross civilizations celebrated the coming of spring with grand festivals and rituals so it’s no coincidence the Christian church used this time to celebrate Jesus’ life and death.

Warmth, Light and Fertility

Even before Christianity began people celebrated the coming of spring by organizing grand festivals and sacrifices to honor their goddesses of spring. They all knew that if their goddess was pleased with them then she would reward them by warming and lighting up the land, give new life to overwintering flowers, trees and shrubs and to bring new life into animals and birds too not to mention the fields upon which they grew their food.

But where did the Happy Easter celebration come from? Well we are not quite sure but it’s almost certain that it is from one of these events:

Goddess of Fertility and Spring

The word “Easter” could be derived from the pagan word Eostre who was the goddess of fertility and birth. The pagans believed she returned to earth each year around what we now call spring time and bestowed light and warmth to the land. To mark the coming of Eostre the pagans laid on huge celebrations in her honor so as not to upset the goddess.

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